Carlsberg released its third-quarter results yesterday

Carlsberg released its third-quarter results yesterday

Carlsberg's solid Q3 results yesterday (7 November) have gone down well with analysts and commentators, not least because of the brewer's continued improvement in the tricky Russian market. 

While rivals struggle, and are even told to think about quitting the region, Carlsberg saw its Russian volume market share improve for a third quarter in a row, while Q3 volumes rose by 2%. Good news for the Danish brewer, as Russia and Ukraine make up about 40% of its profits. 

“The positive Russian market share development indicates that Carlsberg has the challenges in that market under control,” Danish brokerage Sydbank was quoted as saying in Wall Street Journal, adding that it expects the trend to continue next year.

"The positive is that they grew in Russia in the third quarter," Alm Brand analyst Stig Nymann told Reuters.

Carlsberg was also praised for helping to coax Russian drinkers back to beer after government tax increases suppressed demand.

“Beer buyers are gradually getting used to the new higher prices, and even though Carlsberg won’t sacrifice any profit margins to ramp up volumes, it doesn’t expect future price increases to be as dramatic as in the past,” the Wall Street Journal blogged yesterday. “So Russians are likely to start drinking more beer again.”

According to Carlsberg's boss, the turnaround is down to the company's hard graft.

“We did a lot of work to change the business model [in Russia] in 2010 and 2011 and it is good to see that we are getting the benefit from it,” CEO Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen told the Financial Times

But before everyone got carried away, the pragmatic Dane issued a warning. “We are in very good shape,” he said. “But I keep saying: don't expect every month, every quarter for market share to be growing.”