An information meeting for journalists and analysts will be held on Tuesday, 28 November 2000, 16h00 at Carlsberg A/S, Ny Carlsberg Vej 100, Copenhagen
The accounting policies applied remain unchanged from the annual accounts for 1998/99.
The attached appendix shows the Carlsberg Group's results divided into quarters. However, for comparison with 1998/99 please see the comments above regarding changes in the basis of accounts. The appendix also shows movements in Group equity.
Comments on developments in the past 12 months
The Carlsberg Group's beer and soft drink sales increased by 1 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively compared to last year. Before the changes in the basis of accounts, growth was up by a total of 3 per cent on last year.
The net turnover of the Carlsberg Group for the first 12 months amounted to DKK 27.9bn against DKK 23.9bn for the same period last year (+17%). The comparable increase (before changes in the basis of accounts) is 7 per cent and is mainly attributable to soft drink sales in Coca-Cola Nordic Beverages (CCNB), acquisitions of wholesale operations in Italy through the subsidiary Carlsberg Italia S.p.A., and positive exchange rate developments.
Operating profit amounted to DKK 2,355m against DKK 1,673m last year. The comparable increase of DKK 438m (26%) covers progress in all major Group companies. The most pronounced progress was achieved by CCNB and the company now contributes positively to operating profit, also before application of provisions in relation to start-up and running-in expenses. Within the international beer business, the most substantial progress was registered by Carlsberg-Tetley in the United Kingdom - particularly because of a favourable exchange rate development - and by Falcon in Sweden. Satisfactory progress in earnings was also achieved in Denmark, and the effects of the restructuring projects are now becoming evident. Total operating profit was higher than expected.
Special itemstotalled DKK 438m and can be explained as follows:
|Sale of shares in Grupo Cruzcampo||354|
|Sale of shares in Tivoli||182|
|Sale of properties||41|
|Write-down of brewery in China||-225|
|Net adjustment of provisions||86|
Furthermore, DKK 247m of the total net sales price in connection with Grupo Cruzcampo has been taken directly to equity, writing back previously written-off Group goodwill.
Compared to the financial statement of 30 June 2000, special items increased by DKK 10m due to a reduction in the write-down of the brewery in China.
As expected, Financials showed expenditure of DKK 190m, which is the result of considerable investments in acquisitions of companies and production plant in recent years. In addition, the previous years were characterised by significant gains from the sale of shares and bonds. Financials includes a total of capital gains, etc. amounting to DKK 69m.
Profit before tax thus totalled DKK 2,603m against DKK 1,633m last year, which is higher than expected.
The period's effective tax rate of 27.2 per cent was influenced by, among other things, tax-exempt gains from sale of shares as well as non-deductible costs.
During the period, the Group's provisions were reduced in line with plans. In total, the first 12 months saw disposals of DKK 837m as against DKK 1,299m last year.
Beer consumption inDenmarkshows decline although the situation seems to be stabilising. Because of the large differences in excise duties between Denmark and Germany, as much as 20 per cent of Danish beer consumption is still purchased south of the border and the trend is growing.
In theUnited Kingdom, Carlsberg-Tetley achieved results above expectations. Carlsberg-Tetley continues the increased focus on the main brands Carlsberg and Tetley's as well as the restructuring programme within production, distribution, and administration. In 1995/96, Carlsberg-Tetley was granted a compensation to cover future reductions in income and additional expenses in relation to new supply agreements and pension schemes. Of this compensation, DKK 63m after tax was booked as income in the past 12 months as against DKK 141m last year.
InFinland, earnings were higher than expected. Sinebrychoff increased its market share to about 42 per cent of the Finnish beer market and showed sales progress in other beverage sectors, for example for the energy drink Battery.
InSweden, the Falcon brewery registered progress in earnings and the market share for beer increased.
TheAsian marketsare experiencing a positive trend in earnings. Conditions in the Chinese market, where Carlsberg did not make a profit, remain difficult, although results are better than expected. In August 2000, a co-operation agreement was entered into with Tsingtao Brewery in this market, which will mean substantial future annual savings, cf. below.
Coca-Cola Nordic Beverages, which includes production and sale of Coca-Cola products in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland, registered increases in both sales and results compared to last year. In the 12-month period, DKK 240m after tax of the provisions was applied as against DKK 420m last year.
Extraordinary General Meeting
An extraordinary general meeting was held on 30 August 2000 with two proposals for amendments to the Articles of Association on the agenda: the number of Executive Board members was reduced to 1-5 from 3-7, and the proposal to change the company's financial year to follow the calendar year was also adopted.
The present financial year is extended until 31 December 2000 (15 months), and in future the financial year will follow the calendar year.
As explained in the statement of 29 November 1999, the Supervisory Board of Carlsberg A/S approved a strategic plan entailing continued focus on the Group's beer and soft drink activities. Among other initiatives, it involved a decision to divest the majority shareholding in Royal Scandinavia A/S.
Negotiations with potential buyers continue. Carlsberg A/S still expects a conclusion within the present year.
On 19 June 2000, the shareholding in Tivoli was sold to Skandinavisk Tobakskompagni A/S and Chr. Augustinus Fabrikker Aktieselskab for the total amount of DKK 308m.
As explained in the statement to the Copenhagen Stock Exchange of 9 August 2000, a co-operation agreement has been reached between the 51 per cent Carlsberg-owned Carlsberg Hong Kong Ltd. (CBHK) and the Chinese brewery China Tsingtao Brewery Co. Ltd. (Tsingtao).
The agreement entails, among other things, that Tsingtao will take over a 75 per cent shareholding in Carlsberg Brewery (Shanghai) Limited (CBS), which is 95 per cent owned by CBHK and 5 per cent by a local partner. The purchase price is approx. DKK 154m. The remaining 25 per cent shareholding in CBS will in due course be transferred from CBHK to Carlsberg A/S for the amount of approx. DKK 51m.
As a result of the agreement, total book value has been written down by DKK 225m. Considerable annual savings are expected as a result of the agreement.
The agreement is subject to approval by the authorities, which is expected within the year.
Carlsberg A/S establishes Carlsberg Breweries A/S, which assumes control over Orkla ASA's beverage activities
As announced in Carlsberg's statement to the Copenhagen Stock Exchange on 31 May 2000, Carlsberg A/S is establishing the company Carlsberg Breweries A/S with headquarters in Copenhagen as of 1 July 2000. Carlsberg Breweries A/S will include all the domestic and overseas beer activities of Carlsberg A/S together with Saltum and Neptun Bryggerier A/S. Orkla will contribute all its beer and soft drink activities as payment in kind to Carlsberg Breweries A/S in exchange for shares. Carlsberg A/S will own 60 per cent and Orkla ASA 40 per cent of the company.
The agreement is subject to approval by the authorities, to the approval by Orkla's corporate assembly and to a due diligence procedure satisfactory to both parties. Orkla's corporate assembly has approved the agreement, and once the remaining preconditions have been met, the agreement with Orkla will take effect.
Coca-Cola Nordic Beverages A/S (CCNB) will not be part of Carlsberg Breweries A/S, and Carlsberg A/S is conducting specific negotiations with The Coca-Cola Company Inc. about the future of the jointly owned company CCNB.
As the authorities' approval is not expected till the year-end at the earliest, Carls-berg will not include Orkla ASA's beverage activities in the annual accounts as at 31 December 2000. Orkla ASA's beverage activities are thus expected to be included in Carlsberg's accounts as of 1 January 2001 at the earliest.
Carlsberg acquires Switzerland's largest brewery Feldschlösschen
As announced in the statement to the Copenhagen Stock Exchange of 3 November 2000, Carlsberg A/S has acquired the largest Swiss brewery, Feldschlösschen Getränke Holding AG, the beverage business of Feldschlösschen-Hürlimann Holding AG, for approx. CHF 870m (approx. DKK 4.3bn) including external debt.
With a 45 per cent share of the beer market, Feldschlösschen is the largest brewing company in Switzerland and is renowned for its long-established traditions and dedication to high quality. The brewery employs approx. 2,600 people and sells 2.4m hl beer with production at four breweries, as well as 3.3m hl soft drinks and mineral water at four bottling plants.
The Feldschlösschen group will be included in the accounts of the Carlsberg Group as of 1 December 2000. As regards earnings, the effect for the financial year ending 31 December 2000 is expected to be minimal.
Carlsberg A/S is investigating the possibilities of commercialising the considerable biotechnology competencies of the Carlsberg Research Center.
In the statement to the Copenhagen Stock Exchange of 1 November 2000, it was announced that Combio A/S, which was founded by Carlsberg A/S among others and based on patented technology developed at the Carlsberg Laboratory, received capital amounting to DKK 60m. The investors are Medicon Valley Capital, Novo A/S, Lønmodtagernes Dyrtidsfond and Dansk Kapitalanlæg A/S. Carlsberg A/S will continue as the largest individual shareholder with more than 25 per cent of the share capital.
Expectations for 1999/00
The annual report for 1998/99 expressed expectations for the current year of an operating profit at level with 1998/99 and an increase in profit before tax, subject to the realisation of gains in connection with the sale of the Grupo Cruzcampo shareholding or non-beverage shareholdings.
The sale of shares in Grupo Cruzcampo was completed at the end of January 2000, and Carlsberg's net profit from the sale of about DKK 354m has been booked as income under special items. The remaining difference compared to book value relates to write-off of goodwill in previous years and has been written back to equity with approx. DKK 247m. Carlsberg A/S' shareholding in Tivoli and a number of properties have been sold off with a total gain of DKK 223m, and the Chinese activities have been written down by DKK 225m. After adjustment of other provisions by DKK 86m, special items are at present expected to reach the amount of DKK 438m, which is included in the accounts as at 30 September 2000 (exclusive of any profit from the divestment of the Royal Scandinavia shareholding).
As previously mentioned, results after the 12-month period are higher than expected and better than last year.
For the full financial year (15 months) - and excluding the effects of the changes in the basis of accounts - operating profit is expected to be approx. 50 to 60 per cent up on last year (12 months), presupposing a 5th quarter in the current financial year at level with the same period of the previous financial year. Profit before and after tax are expected to increase by 60 to 70 per cent on last year (12 months) (when applying the same principle).
This financial statement is available in Danish and English. In case of doubt, the Danish version shall apply.