Carlsberg, the global brewer, this morning revealed that its performance in the UK had continued to improve as it unveiled a higher market share and said volumes had increased in the first six months of the year. Unveiling its interim results to 30 June 2010, Carlsberg said it had seen a “low double digit” increase in UK volumes. It added that improvements in the on and off trade had seen its market share improve by more than 180 basis points (bp) to 16.2%. But it said it had seen volumes decline by 1% following the World Cup in June. Carlsberg achieved a 12% increase in operating profit to DKK 5.0bn – which had been driven by increased sales and marketing investments. It said that group operating profit margin had improved strongly by 210bp to 17.2%. However, the company was still experiencing fluctuations in regional volume figures, resulting in an overall decline of 2% to 55.8m hl with an organic volume development of -3%. One of the brewer’s worst performing regions was Russia, where volumes were down by –5%, although this was marginally better than expected. Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, chief executive, said: “The group's performance was strong for the first six months in spite of challenging consumer dynamics. We achieved higher margins in all three regions for the first six months showing that we are clearly on-track to meet our medium-term margin targets. “We will continue to balance our plans to improve efficiency and margins with our ambitions to drive top-line growth. During 2010 we have successfully undertaken several initiatives that will help us strengthen our market positions across all three regions.”

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