6/3/1997 10:00 

for the period 1 October 1996 - 31 March 1997 unaudited, released June 3, 1997

 DKK million 
1996/97
6 months
1995/96
6 months
 Turnover   9,2148,537 
Operating profit532530
 Financial income, net   338211 
Profit before tax870741
 Total assets   20,34217,884 

 

The interim report has been prepared in accordance with the same accounting policies as the annual accounts for 1995/96.


Comments on Developments in the past six Months

Theturnoverof the Carlsberg Group for the past six months amounted to DKK 9.2 billion, up approximately 8 per cent, which is mainly attributed to an improvement in the GBP exchange rate and to the associated company, Falcon Bryggerier AB now being recorded in the accounts for a 50 per cent interest, instead of 30 per cent as last year.

Operating profitamounted to DKK 532 million compared with DKK 530 million last year.

Financial netincome totalled DKK 338 million, a considerable gain on last year as well as the previous years. The improvement in financial items is due to the market performance of shares as well as bonds.

Profit before taxamounted to DKK 870 million which, owing to the increase in financial net income, is better than foreseen.

Amounting to DKK 8,912 million at 30 September 1996, theequityof the Group at 31 March 1997 was increased by profit for the period and the increase in the value of Group companies, mainly owing to the increase in the GBP exchange rate, and - to a lesser extent - reduced by write-down of group goodwill.


Supplementary information:

InDenmark, totalbeerconsumption was down by 0.3 per cent on the same period of the previous year.

Owing to intensified marketing efforts, the Carlsberg Group continued to grow its market shares for the Carlsberg and Tuborg brands. In the low-priced segment, where Wiibroe operates, a decline was recorded in market share.

Totalsoft drinksconsumption was up by 8.6 per cent. The Carlsberg Group registered an increase in sales of 4.5 per cent, compounded by substantial progress for the brand name products of the Group, chiefly the Coca-Cola brands, and a decrease in sales in the low-priced segment.

The large-scale construction projects and the implementation of new plant at Valby, Fredericia and Glostrup as a consequence of the discontinuation of production in Hellerup have now been completed. Investments in this connection have been less than expected, and the economies in operations exceed the budgets.

The past six months have, moreover, witnessed the preparations for a complete reorganisation of the breweries' sales and distribution system. These changes, which include the establishment of two large-scale brewery terminals, one in Fredericia and one in the Greater Copenhagen area, are expected to further improve the competitive strength of the company. To be implemented at successive stages, the reorganisation is scheduled to be completed in late 1999.

The joint venture co-operation with The Coca-Cola Company for the bottling and distribution of Coca-Cola and other soft drinks brands in Denmark and Sweden, announced on 4 March 1997, is now being investigated by the EU competition authorities. The outcome is not expected to be known until some time in September 1997.

In theUnitedKingdomCarlsberg-Tetley, in which Carlsberg A/S has a 50 per cent interest, achieved a result on the same level as last year. Sales of Carl sb erg continue to grow, while some less profitable brands show a decrease. The previously announced merger between Carlsberg-Tetley and Bass Brewers still awaits the decision of the newly appointed UK Minister for Trade and Industry.

In view of the authorities' lengthy investigations and the resulting uncertainty among employees and customers, the result in the UK is considered highly satisfactory.

In the brewery inHong Kong, to which the Chinese market organisationally belongs, Carlsberg increased its share in October 1996 by 10 per cent to 51 per cent in total. Efforts to consolidate the Carlsberg brand in the region continue and the construction of a new brewery near Shanghai proceeds as planned. A decline in result in the region was, however, registered.

Amongother Group companies outside Denmarkincreases in earnings were achieved in Malaysia and Sweden. In Germany an improvement was also achieved in earnings which, however, are still unsatisfactory. The results of the remaining breweries were on the same level as last year, or slightly below.

Among non-beverage Group companiesthe Royal Copenhagen group registered an increase in result, cf. the interim report published on 28 May 1997, whereas other companies, among these Vingaarden A/S, Danbrew Ltd. and Rynkeby Foods A/S, collectively reported growth in turnover and profit before tax.


Future Prospects

For the current financial year Carlsberg expects - not least in view of the development in financial income - to achieve a profit before tax on almost the same level as last year provided, however, that foreign exchange rates and interest rates remain unchanged for the rest of the financial year.

In the longer term, Carlsberg expects to maintain the high level of earnings. In that respect, the outcome of the investigations of the two above-mentioned joint ventures, the co-operation with The Coca-Cola Company and the merger in the UK, will obviously have a considerable influence.

Predictions about future earnings are, furthermore, rendered difficult by circumstances, positive as well as negative, over which the company has no influence whether it be exchange rates, changes in excise duties, political unrest, economic developments or tax matters.


Supervisory Board Composition

In the past few decades Carlsberg A/S has gained an increasingly international presence, achieving a growing share of beer sales outside Denmark - approximately 84 per cent in 1995/96.

In recognition hereof, the Supervisory Board of the company considers it very important to appoint to the Supervisory Board prominent industrialists whose professional lives have given them extensive experience in the marketing and sale of branded goods in the food industry world-wide.

The Supervisory Board has been informed that Mr. Palle Marcus, former Chief Executive of Danisco A/S and Mr. Jens Bigum, Group Managing Director of MD Foods have kindly consented to being elected to the Supervisory Board of Carlsberg A/S at the general meeting on 15 December 1997.

The present members of the Supervisory Board Mr. Jens W. Werner, Managing Director and Mr. Holger Lavesen, President of Dansk Olie og Naturgas A/S, who have meritoriously served the Supervisory Board of Carlsberg A/S for twenty and ten years, respectively, have in agreement with the importance of the above-mentioned arrangement informed the Supervisory Board that they are prepared to make their seats available for the election of the new members at the general meeting.


Five-Year Summary

First six months

 DKK million 
1992/931993/941994/951995/961996/97
 Turnover7,2577,8717,8718,5379,214 
Operating profit480509520530532
 Financial income, net21422287211338 
Profit before tax694731607741870


Full year

 DKK million 
1991/921992/931993/941994/951995/96
 Turnover14,95715,59516,91917,07217,965 
Operating profit1,2591,1171,1901,2121,252
 Financial income, net105465124208318 
Profit before tax1,3641,3821,3141,4201,570


When evaluating the figures listed for comparison the acquisition and sale of subsidiaries as well as foreign exchange rate fluctuations should be taken into consideration.