Royal Unibrew, the Denmark-based beer and soft-drinks producer, today (18 April) upped its forecast annual for EBIT.

The Faxe beer owner now sees its EBIT rising by 9-19% in 2024, up from its earlier forecast of growth of 5-15%.

In 2023, Royal Unibrew generated an EBIT of DKr1.64bn ($234m), which equated to a 7% increase organically.

The new forecast was made alongside the publication of Royal Unibrew’s first-quarter results, a period when the company’s volumes grew 6% on an organic basis.

Its new prediction for EBIT was sparked by what it called “efficiency improvements”. Royal Unibrew also pointed to “acquisition-related benefits being delivered ahead of plan for the group”.

Last year, the company snapped up Dutch soft drinks manufacturer Vrumona from Heineken and a production facility in Italy from brewer Birra Castello.

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“We are investing in the San Giorgio facility so the plant can take over more production for other Royal Unibrew entities in the coming quarters,” CEO Lars Jensen said.

The company expects the acquisitions will contribute “by a further DKr80m to EBIT”, he added. Royal Unibrew is forecasting its reported EBIT will reach DKr1.88bn-2.03bn in 2024.

In the opening quarter of the year, the group generated a net revenue of DKr3.2bn, which represented a 10% rise on an organic basis. Volumes stood at 3.7m hectolitres.

Royal Unibrew made a net profit of DKr100m, up from DKr98m in the first quarter of 2023.

Jensen said: “The first quarter has marked a strong start to the year. The business momentum we built throughout 2023 has continued into 2024.”

He pointed to “the continued strong performance of our markets in northern Europe” and the impact of “a normalised Italian on-trade beer channel”.

Royal Unibrew had also seen “a strong rebound in our international segment”, Jensen added.