Carlsberg reports 3.8% revenue increase

Carlsberg has reported organic volume sales growth of 11.5% for the first three months of 2021.

The Danish brewer saw revenue increase by 3.8% on an organic basis in the first quarter, which comfortably beat analysts’ expectations of 1.7% growth.

Lockdowns caused organic volume sales to decrease 5.8% in western Europe, but that was offset by 29.7% sales growth in Asia and an 8.9% increase in central and eastern Europe.

The eponymous lager brand was down 4%, but Tuborg grew 26%, 1664 Blanc was up 33% and Somersby cider grew 31%.

The craft and speciality division saw volumes increase by 13% and alcohol-free brews were up 24%. Hollywood star Mads Mikkelsen fronts a new ad campaign for Carlsberg 0.0.

The company now expects to enjoy organic growth in operating profit of 5% to 10% this year.

Chief executive Cees ’t Hart said: “Covid-19 continues to impact people across the world. As in 2020, our top priorities remain the health and wellbeing of our employees, supporting our customers to the best of our ability and safeguarding the financial health of the business.

“The group had a strong start to the year in Asia and central and eastern Europe, while western Europe was significantly impacted by the extensive lockdowns and restrictions across the region.

“With Covid-19 continuing to be a challenge in many of our markets, our geographical exposure showed its strength, as strong volume growth in several markets across all three regions more than offset challenging circumstances in other markets.

“Although the uncertainty as to how the pandemic will evolve in the coming quarters remains high, we’re pleased that we can raise the bottom end of our earnings guidance and that we’re today launching the second quarterly share buy-back programme.”