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Carlsberg Cautious About Europe, SE Asia Demand

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The brewing major, which reported lower Q3 volumes, struck a prudent tone about the outlook for consumer demand in the two regions.

Carlsberg has maintained its profit forecast for 2023 but the brewer’s third-quarter sales were mixed and it remains wary about consumer sentiment in Europe and South East Asia.

The Tuborg maker is still predicting a 4-7% rise in operating profit this year after booking a 5.8% increase in third-quarter revenue on an organic basis. Revenue per hectolitre was up 9%, with Carlsberg pointing to “strong growth” in parts of Europe. Reported revenue grew by 0.3% to DKr20.3bn ($2.88bn).

However, organic volumes fell 3% (they dipped 0.6% over the first nine months of the year as a whole). Volumes dropped in western, central and eastern Europe, though they rose in Asia.

Speaking to analysts after the Danish brewer published its trading update, CFO Ulrica Fearn said: “Looking at the trading environment across our markets, consumer sentiment in Europe is weak and that may pose a risk for our volumes, channel and brand mix.”

She added: “In Asia, we’re optimistic about Q4 in China, mainly due to favourable comps last year because of the lockdown but we are concerned about the macroeconomic environment in South East Asia and the continued possible negative impact on the beer market.”

In western Europe, organic revenue was up 7% in the third quarter, although volumes fell 5.2%. Fearn said Carlsberg “roughly estimates” two-thirds of the decline in volumes was due to poor weather, with the remainder down to “weak consumer sentiment”.

Source : JD

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