• Q1 net loss of DKK76m (US$13.2m) versus profits of DKK173m a year earlier
  • Operating profits down 43% to DKK574m 
  • Net sales rise 2.8% to DKK12.87bn
  • Maintains full-year outlook  
Carlsberg continues to feel the effects of the decline in the Russian beer market, but the launch of Tuborg in China is hoped to off-set this

Carlsberg continues to feel the effects of the decline in the Russian beer market, but the launch of Tuborg in China is hoped to off-set this

Carlsberg has 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. 

The move into the red for the three months to the end of March contrasts with net profits a year earlier of DKK173m. Operating profits fell in the quarter by 43%, while net sales inched up by 2.8% to DKK12.87bn, the brewer said earlier today (9 May).

Beer volumes fell by 4% of 22.9m hectolitres, with Eastern European volumes plunging by 22% to 7.2m hectolitres. The group said that the Eastern European number is “distorted”, however, as Russian distributors reduced their stockholding.

In Russia, price increases were introduced in March this year and last November, Carslberg said, to off-set a three-fold tax rise in the country in January. 

However the company pointed to “solid growth” in Northern and Western Europe and a “strong performance” in Asia, while improving its market share in all these regions.

CEO Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen said the results were “in line with our plans and we are on track to meet our 2012 expectations”.  

The company said it expected to see low single-digit decline in North and Western European markets over 2012, while the Russian market it anticipated would "revert to modest growth". Continued growth is expected in key markets in Asia.

Rasmussen added: “We are putting significant resources behind the EURO 2012 sponsorship, which will be a key driver behind the support of the repositioning and the growth of the Carlsberg brand in 2012.”

He also pointed to the “rejuvenation” of  Tuborg, adding it would “support the brand growth through improved performance in existing markets, as well as through introductions into new growth markets such as China.” 

Carlsberg started selling Tuborg in China last month, where overall beer volumes for the company grew organically by 14% in Q1. 

For the full announcement, click here