Carlsbergs CEO has played down fears around regulatory clampdowns in its key Russian market

Carlsberg's CEO has played down fears around regulatory clampdowns in its key Russian market

Carlsberg has said it will be forced to introduce price rises of around 15% in France if the government goes ahead with planned duty increase. 

The French government announced last month it is proposing a 160% hike on beer tax to help cut the country's social security deficit. Speaking during an analysts' conference call, following its Q3 results today (7 November), Carlsberg's CEO Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen said the move will be “negative for the market development” in the country. 

“We are thinking about on average having to put through a price increase of around 15%, if it stays at 160%,” he added. 

On the subject of rival Heineken potentially putting up its prices by 20%, Rasmussen said: “I know how we got to 15%. I don't know how Heineken got to 20%.” 

Carlsberg's CEO was also quizzed over the effect of a marketing ban in its key market of Russia, which took effect in July. He said the group has yet to see a “significant” impact from the ban on beer advertising in television, radio and outdoor media, but it is “too early to judge”.

He later added that the move will affect "less-well known" brands, rather than Carlsberg's portfolio. 

Earlier, the brewer revealed it has increased its market share in the country to 38.2%, while its Q3 volumes edged up 2%. 

A ban on kiosks selling beer in Russia is also due to come in next year. Rasmussen said there is likely to be some “short-term disruption” when its arrives, but the company is not concerned in the medium to long-term. “It will not change the category dynamics,” he said, pointing out that the group will up its in-store activities. 

Meanwhile, on a possible ban on PET in Russia, Rasmussen re-stated that the company will be “surprised” if such a clampdown goes ahead and suggested beer could be exempt from any new regulations. 

On the group's Somersby cider brand, the CEO sounded a positive note, saying: "We are rolling out Somersby in a lot of markets and it's doing well and we plan to continue to do so (roll it out)."