Carlsberg disappoints in Q2 amid tanking sales in Russia

17th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Danish brewing giant Carlsberg on Wednesday posted disappointing second quarter profits, blaming slowing sales in Russia, where beer consumption was hit by soaring prices.

For the April to June period, the world's fourth-biggest brewer saw its net profit plunge 22 percent year-on-year to 2.1 billion kroner (282 million euros, $408 million), disappointing analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires who had expected the company's net profit to tick in at 2.6 billion kroner.

Following the news, Carlsberg saw its share price crumble 16 percent in afternoon trading on a Copenhagen stock exchange down 1.27 percent.

The Danish company's sales meanwhile swelled 4.3 percent to 18.7 billion kroner in the second quarter, but still slightly missed analyst expectations of 18.8 billion.

Carlsberg said its main headache had been in its biggest market, Russia, where beer prices have ballooned due to a new steep tax and a new law restricting alcohol sales went into effect in July.

Russia's overall beer market slumped two percent in the second quarter, according to Carlsberg, which saw its deliveries to the country plummet nine percent during the same period.

Second quarter "performance in Russia has been below expectations. The recovery in the beer category is taking longer than we anticipated as the Russian consumer adapts to the exceptional price increases of around 30 percent undertaken during the last 18 months," Carlsberg chief executive Joergen Buhl Rasmussen said in the earnings statement.

The situation in Russia led the company to revise its outlook for the full year, saying it now expects its profits to rise between five and 10 percent, down from its previous estimate of "more than 20 percent" growth.

© 2011 AFP

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