Carlsberg grows profits despite flat Russian beer market

Carlsberg: Russian sales stall. Picture: PA
Carlsberg: Russian sales stall. Picture: PA
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DANISH brewer Carlsberg today revealed that sales growth stalled in its key Russian market in the fourth quarter of last year.

The group forecast that as a result operating earnings this year would reach only about 10 billion Danish krona (£1.12bn), down from 9.8bn krona in 2012, and behind consensus market forecasts of 11bn krona.

Carlsberg also scrapped its target for an operating profit margin of 26-29 per cent for eastern Europe by 2015, its last reported margin in the region being 21.7 per cent in 2011.

Carlsberg took over Scottish & Newcastle Breweries’ Russian arm in 2008 as part of a break-up bid of the Scottish company with Heineken of Holland.

But growth has been hit by a Russian government drive to curb alcohol abuse, including excise tax increases and a ban on media advertising.