5/11/2010 7:00 

 

Q1 performance in line with plan

• In the traditionally small first quarter Carlsberg reported an operating profit of DKK 735m (DKK 788m in 2009). Group operating profit margin was unchanged at 6.7% (6.7% in 2009). The strong margin improvement in Northern & Western Europe and Asia was off-set by the expected margin weakness in Eastern Europe following the significant Russian excise tax increase and the subsequent stock-building in Russia in late 2009.

• Beer volumes declined by 7% to 21.0m hl with an organic beer volume decline of 9%. While Asian volumes grew double-digit and Northern & Western European volumes grew by low-single digit percentages, the decline in Eastern European volumes was significantly impacted by de-stocking in Russia in the first quarter. Excluding the de-stocking effect the estimated organic volume development was -2%.

• Carlsberg improved overall market share in Northern & Western Europe, Asia and Eastern Europe excluding Russia.

• The Russian beer market declined by 12% in the first quarter in line with expectations and Carlsberg's Russian market share was unchanged compared to Q4 2009. Based on the Russian market dynamics in Q1 following the excise tax increase, Carlsberg maintains its expectations that the Russian beer market will decline by low double-digit percentages in 2010. Carlsberg still anticipates outperforming the market.

• Net revenue declined by 7% to DKK 11.0bn (DKK 11.8bn in Q1 2009) with a -7% organic net revenue development. Price/mix was +1% despite the negative effect from phasing of price increases in Russia following the excise tax increase.

• In line with management's expectations Group operating profit was DKK 735m (DKK 788m in 2009). Northern & Western Europe and Asia delivered strong organic profit growth while profits in Eastern Europe as expected were affected by the de-stocking in Russia and the phasing of price increases following the significant Russian excise tax increase in the beginning of the year. Adjusting for the estimated Russian de-stocking impact of around DKK 300m, organic operating profit growth in the beverage activities would have been 21%.

• Net profit was DKK 471m. Net profit includes a non-cash, non-taxable income in special items of DKK 390m related to a new acquisitions accounting regulation. Excluding this item, net profit was DKK 81m versus DKK -212m in Q1 2009 or DKK +293m.

• Free cash flow was DKK -549m (DKK -1,079m in Q1 2009) and net interest bearing debt was DKK 37.1bn (DKK 45.8bn end Q1 2009).

• Carlsberg confirms underlying assumptions and full-year outlook:
• Operating profit to be in line with that reported for 2009
• Net profit growth of more than 20% (excluding the one-off acquisition related special item and net income of DKK 390m)

• Due to the Russian de-stocking in Q1 and the phasing of price increases linked to the excise duty increase in Russia, earnings will be skewed more towards the second half of the year.

Commenting on the results, CEO Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen says: “We are satisfied with the first quarter performance which was in line with our plans and we remain confident in our ability to meet our targets for 2010. As expected, the beginning of the year was affected by de-stocking and consequent volume decline in our Eastern European business and we continue to follow our detailed plans for the region. We are particularly pleased with the Asian and Northern & Western European regions in the quarter as revenue growth and efficiency improvements in both regions accelerated profit growth.”

 

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Contacts:

Investor Relations:    Peter Kondrup                     +45 3327 1221

Media Relations:        Jens Bekke                          +45 3327 1412