Analysts see "scope for improvements" after Carlsbergs performance in Q1

Analysts see "scope for improvements" after Carlsberg's performance in Q1

Carlsberg has “scope for improvements” in the year ahead, after reporting a significant Q1 loss of DKK76m (US$13.2m), according to analysts.

For the first three months of 2012, the Copenhagen-based company announced a 43% drop in operating profits today (9 May) after feeling the effects of a weakened Russian market. A beer tax hike in Russia in January meant that retailers stocked up on supplies in Q4, leading to a tail-off in the first quarter.

Analysts Nomura Group said: “As expected, reporting is weak due to the reversal of the Q4 Russian stocking up. However, with recovering macro in Russia leading to improved sentiment, we see scope for improvements in the year.” 

Underlying market volumes in Russia were flat in the first quarter, Nomura noted, with Carlsberg's market share also “stabilising”. The analysts also highlighted that Q1 is “traditionally a small quarter, given seasonality” and accounts for less than 10% full-year profits.

Carlsberg said today that its earnings expectations for the full-year remain unchanged. 

Analysts Bernstein also noted a “number of positive surprises” in underlying trends in Russia. It noted Carlsberg's price mix in Russia was up by 5%, ahead of expectations.

Both analysts highlighted Carlsberg's strong performance in Asia. Nomura said the region accounted for 47% of group profits in the quarter, as volumes grew 14%. Bernstein noted that organic growth “continued to be robust” for the brewer.