Alongside our daily news coverage, features and interviews, the Just Drinks news team sifts through the week’s most intriguing data sets to bring you a roundup of the week in numbers.

This week we took a deeper look  at Carlsberg‘s results as the Danish brewer announced a cautious outlook for 2024, unpicked Cognac sales in the US as Camus struck a distribution deal and delved into falling beer sales in Germany.

Carlsberg volumes dip but pricing boosts revenue

Carlsberg lifted its long-term targets for underlying sales and EBIT as it announced its full-year 2023 results this week, leading share prices to flutter upwards.

But the Danish brewer said it was more cautious on organic EBIT for the year ahead.

“Guidance for 2024 is somewhat more cautious than we were expecting, targeting 1-5% organic EBIT growth,” AllianceBernstein analyst Trevor Stirling wrote in a note to clients this week. “Consensus is at +7.5% and will have to come down slightly, although Carlsberg has a track record of guiding cautiously to beat expectations.”

Recently-appointed CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen said the Denmark-based group planned to “step up commercial investments” in 2024 to boost sales.

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He said the brewer expected to again see costs rise again this year and indicated the company expects consumer sentiment to remain “subdued” in China and parts of Europe. Sporting events in Europe this year could boost volumes, he added.

Cognac’s uneven tiller in US

2023 marked another dismal year for Cognac in the US. Continuing the slowdown in sales since since the peaks of 2020 and 2021, the major players in the sphere have all felt the effects, with Courvoisier, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Rémy Cointreau all in recent weeks underlining the pressure on their businesses in the country.

Data from The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) reveals the spirit’s tumultuous last decade.

This week Camus Cognac announced it had partnered with Flor de Caña’s Luxury Spirits International (LSI) division to import the French spirit to the US.

Despite the spirit’s unsteady recent history, Marc Hirten, president of LSI’s US business, said he had “great confidence that Camus Cognac will thrive in the months and years to come.”

Camus sells several Cognacs in the US, including the single-estate Camus VSOP Borderies and Camus XO Borderies. The company also sells its “intensely aromatic” Cognacs there, namely VS Intensity, VSOP Intensity and XO.

Read more about Cognac's US woes in Just Drinks' latest magazine

German beer sales fall after 2022 optimism

Sales of beer in Germany fell to their lowest level in over a decade in 2023, data released this week shows.

Domestic sales reached 8.3bn litres in 2023, having risen to 8.7bn litres in 2022, according to a report from the country’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).

The country also exported less beer – figures were down 5.9% on 2022 to 1.4bn litres in 2023. Of that export figure, 784m litres went to EU countries, while 646m litres was sold in non-EU countries.

Destatis figures released for 2023 do not include malt drinks, nor non-alcoholic beers below 0.5%.

Aussie wine exports to US continue to slow

Australian wine continued its slowing export trend in the US last year, slumping after a slight lift in 2022, data shows.

Total volumes of wine shipped to the US were 14.9m litres in 2023, compared to 15.6m litres in 2022. In 2014, they sat at 18.3m litres, according to data from Wine Australia.

None of Australia’s top-six grape varieties in the US saw both value and volume growth in 2023.

Chardonnay, the largest variety by volume, declined 15.7% in 2023 to 46m litres compared to 2022, while prices rose on average 10.5% to A$2.16.

Despite falling topline figures, Barossa-based producer Chaffey Brothers Wine Co. said it saw potential for growth in the US with its “new-wave Barossa”.

Speaking to Just Drinks at the Wine Australia trade tasting in London last week, co-owner and winemaker Theo Engela said customers were beginning to recognise “the diversity and value” of Australian wine.