just The Preview - Carlsberg Q2 and H1
Carlsberg will report H1 and Q2 results on 17 August
Carlsberg will report its half-year and second-quarter results tomorrow (17 August). Here, just-drinks takes a look at the highs and lows for the brewer in the three months to the end of June.
- The quarter began with a bang for Carlsberg as the group announced the first global marketing campaign for its namesake brand. The brewer said that it had "invested significantly" behind the campaign, entitled 'that calls for a Carlsberg'. The group was later forced to dismiss suggestions that it plagiarised a marketing campaign by Anheuser-Busch in 2001.
- Speaking to just-drinks on the sidelines of the launch, Carlsberg's CEO, Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, said that the brewer was eyeing acquisitions in Asia. "If we invest, then it's very likely to be in the Asian continent," he said.
- In mid-April, Carlsberg announced that Kasper Madsen, its senior VP for supply chain since 2004, would step down on 1 June. He has been replaced by Peter Ernsting, who joined Carlsberg from Unilever, where he was chairman of the Unilever supply chain company.
- CEO Buhl Rasmussen told just-drinks that he was "extremely confident" about Russia's beer market, despite regulatory and economic pressures. His comments came during an exclusive interview with just-drinks on Carlsberg's business, prospects and plans.
- In late April, Carlsberg-owned Baltika Breweries is to buy back up to RUB11.5bn (US$418m) of shares - 5% of its issued share capital - in order to deliver a better return to investors. Last week, Baltika completed the buyback.
- In May, Carlsberg launched a new beer named Copenhagen. Initially launched in Denmark but earmarked for release across the group's markets, Copenhagen has an abv of 4.5% and is designed to appeal to white wine and Champagne drinkers.
- Later in the month, Carlsberg disposed of its France-based distribution subsidiary, Soredis, through a management buyout. The buyout was led by the president of Soredis, François Guy, the grandson of the company’s founder.
- At the start of June, Carlsberg bought back a 22.5% stake in its Indian beer subsidiary from Sri Lanka-based Lion Brewery Ceylon. Carlsberg paid LKR2.18bn (US$19.9m) for Lion Brewery's shareholding in Carlsberg India, formerly known as South Asian Breweries. Meanwhile, Carlsberg retains a 25% stake in Lion Brewery.
- During the quarter, much of Western Europe was hit by drought. Analysts highlighted Carlsberg as one of the brewers most at risk from a subsequent spike in barley prices, although Heineken is also thought to be vulnerable. Sanford Bernstein estimated that brewers might have to increase selling prices by up to 5% in Western Europe, just to cover barley costs. Barley prices have since subsided, following a wet July, but market uncertainty remains.
- In mid-June, Carlsberg extended its sponsorship deal with the English Football Association (FA) for another four years. It said that the deal would give it increased rights around pitch-side signage during international matches, as well as more rights around the use of player imagery and use of England team rights worldwide. However, a few eyebrows were raised when it transpired, on the same day, that Anheuser-Busch InBev's Budweiser would sponsor the FA Cup.
- Over in Russia, Baltika Breweries cut its annual dividend to shareholders by 66%, to RUB42 (US$1.49). It has, however, delivered extra value to shareholders via a share buyback.
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