The Danish Carlsberg Group sold a total of 112.3 million hl of beer in 2018 according to the annual report which was released on Wednesday. This is 5.2 million hl or 4.9% more than in 2017. Sales increased by 3% from DKK 60.7 billion (about EUR 8.13 billion) to DKK 62.5 billion kroner (about EUR 8.37 billion). The profit after taxes amounted to DKK 5.36 billion in 2018 (about EUR 718 million) and thus about EUR 58 million above the profit after taxes of the previous year.
In Western Europe which includes countries like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France, Switzerland, Poland and Great Britain and Germany, beer sales increased by 2.7% to a total of 47.3 million hl. In comparison to 2017, sales increased by 1.2% to DKK 36.2 billion (approximately EUR 4.85 billion).
In Asia, Carlsberg recorded the largest growth. Beer sales increased by 10.3% to 34.4 million hl; sales climbed from just under DKK 14 billion to DKK 15.5 billion (about 2.08 billion euros), which corresponds to an increase of 11.4%. Business in China, India and Nepal, in particular, did very well.
In Eastern Europe, the Carlsberg Group was able to sell 30.6 million hl of beer (+2.8%). In terms of sales, the Danes recorded a minus of 1.3%, which is attributed to the weak currencies in the markets of this region. By contrast, the Russian business (including Carlsberg Baltika) developed positively, rising again for the first time since 2007. Growth of an estimated 3% was driven by the World Cup and a warm summer.
Major acquisition of the last year included the full acquisition of Olympic Brewery, Greece’s second-largest brewer (inside.beer 6.2.2018, the acquisition of a 75% majority stake in Cambodian brewer Cambrew (inside,beer, 14.8.2018) and the purchase of a 28.5% stake in Super Bock Group owner Viacer (inside.beer, 14.12.2018).
Carlsberg CEO Cees ’t Hart said: “We delivered a strong set of results for 2018. In line with our ambitions for SAIL’22, we accelerated top-line growth, improved margins, delivered a strong cash flow and reduced debt even further.”