Carlsberg chief Rasmussen has admitted the group has "too many" brands

Carlsberg chief Rasmussen has admitted the group has "too many" brands

Carlsberg CEO Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen has admitted that the brewer has too many brands and that he would prefer see at least 100 fewer in its global portfolio.

Speaking at the Canadean International Beer Strategy Conference in Copenhagen, the Carlsberg chief was reported by Brewers' Guardian as saying: "I would probably like to see fewer brands. Whether that means 300 or 400, I don't know - but 500 is too many." Rasmussen did not mention specific products that might be ditched, but said Carslberg still needed a lot of brands to be "relevant to local consumers".

He added: "l believe our strategy is right - having strong local power brands and using international brands to premiumise our portfolio." 

On Russia, where Carlsberg has struggled of late, Rasmussen told the conference: "I believe Russia is through the worst. It has had an extraordinary two or three years. First it was hit particularly badly by the global crisis, with beer volumes falling by 10%, then there was the 200% increase in beer tax, followed by a disastrous harvest which pushed raw materials costs throughthe roof". 

Last month, Carlsberg reported a Q1 net loss of DKK76m (US$13.2m) after the group was hit by the effects of declining volumes in Eastern Europe, particularly Russia. 

But, Rasmussen said the Russian econonmy is returning to health and consumer confidence is rising. 

On the threat of more legislation in Russia, he said: "The big discussion we are having is the potential banning of PET in Russia. We think that's highly unlikely, however - there are just too many stakeholders saying that it doesn't make sense".

To read the original story on Brewers' Guardian, click here.