Carlsberg has raised to today its profit guidance in view of better than expected results for the first half year.
Total organic volume grew of 10.0% (Q2: +8.8%). While the established brands showed mixed results (Tuborg volume +28%, Carlsberg +2%, 1664 Blanc +25%, Grimbergen +3% and Somersby +17%), craft & specialty beers grew in volume by +21% and alcohol-free brews +26%. Organic operating profit grew by 15.6% and adjusted net profit growth was up 10.3% to DKK 3,168m (USD 500m).
Carlsberg reported that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact business performance, and market volatility and uncertainty remain high. However, in light of the good results for H1 and the start of Q3, the Danish brewing group upgraded the earnings guidance for 2021. Organic growth in operating profit is now expected within the range of 8-11% (previously 5-10%).
Half a year ago, when Carlsberg reported the results for 2020, the results were still very much affected by the pandemic. Carlsberg’s CEO Cees ’t Hart acknowledged at that time that “the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted lives worldwide and was a significant challenge for Carlsberg in 2020.” However he already reported “while the pandemic is not yet behind us and we don’t know how long it will remain a challenge in 2021, we believe that Carlsberg will emerge even stronger from the crisis.” (inside.beer, 5.2.2021)
Today, while presenting the half year results, t’Hart said: “We’re very satisfied that the Group delivered a strong set of results despite the continued market uncertainty as a result of the pandemic.
“Top-line growth, operating margin improvement and significantly higher cash flow demonstrate the strength of our geographic footprint and brand portfolio, and the strong execution of our initiatives to safeguard the short-and long-term health of the Carlsberg Group. The resilience of our strategic priorities is further evidenced by overall figures for H1 2021 being ahead of H1 2019, on a like-for-like basis," he added.
“Across many markets, people and businesses unfortunately continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we see a gradual return to a more normal environment in markets across Europe, other markets, particularly in Asia, remain subject to severe restrictions due to new waves of the infection," ‘t Hart said.
“While the uncertainty about the remainder of the year continues, we’re satisfied with the strength of the H1 results and the good start to Q3, enabling us to upgrade the earnings guidance for the year and launch the third quarterly share buy-back programme," he finished the statement.