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Carlsberg serves up strong sales

STRONG sales in Indochina and the rest of Asia helped Danish brewer Carlsberg A/S overcome falling volumes in Europe to post a profit over the first nine months of the year, third-quarter financial statements released Wednesday showed.

Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen, chief executive officer at the world’s fourth-largest brewer, told a press conference announcing the results that the brewery’s revenues increased 24 percent in Asian markets for the year to the end of September.

Growth was unevenly distributed, but Indochina in particular provided strong returns, he said.

“In Indochina, organic profit growth was around 50 percent due to the strong volume growth and improved pricing,” he said. “The very strong 33 percent operating profit growth [in Asia] in Q3 was mainly due to the Indochina business.”

Carlsberg’s Indochina manager, Henrik Andersen, said that Cambodia was a “very important” market for the company. “This is due to demographics, and it also has a low per-capita consumption compared to its neighbours,” he said. “We find beer consumption grows in line with a nation’s economy.”

Carlsberg owns 50 percent of Cambrew Ltd, the Sihanoukville-based brewery that produces Angkor Beer, one of the top two beer brands in the country. It also produces Beer Lao independently of Cambrew.

Carlsberg also said Wednesday it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vietnam’s Hue People’s Committee to buy its partner’s 50 percent stake in Hue Brewery, which has annual production capacity of 2 million hectolitres. The ceremony was attended by the Queen of Denmark.

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