Danish brewer Carlsberg has forecast organic operating profit growth in 2023 below last year's level as higher beer prices are expected to dent consumption.
The world's third-biggest brewer expects organic operating profit this year to change by between minus 5% and plus 5%, compared with 12% growth last year.
Carlsberg said sales in the fourth quarter rose 6% from a year earlier to DKK 14.6 billion (€1.96 billion), against DKK 14.7 billion (€1.98 billion) estimated by analysts in a poll provided by the company.
Organic volume growth was up 5.4% in Western Europe and up 10.3% in Asia, while Central & Eastern Europe saw a marginal volume fall of 0.1%.
Its Carlsberg brand saw international volumes rise by 14%, Tuborg was up 9%, Grimbergen was up 11% and Somersby cider rose by 1%.
'Good Execution Of Strategy'
“The group delivered a strong set of results for 2022 thanks to an impressive effort by our employees across the group and continued good execution of our strategy," commented CEO Cees ’t Hart.
"The high earnings and very strong cash generation were achieved despite many challenges, including the war in Ukraine, rising energy and commodity prices, and the impact from the pandemic, particularly in Asia."
'Challenging' Year Ahead
Carlsberg has anticipated a 'challenging' year ahead, with commodity and energy prices likely to continue to weigh on the group's sales and logistics costs. In addition, it said that the high cost of living crisis may impact beer consumption in some markets, particularly in Europe.
“2023 will be another challenging year, but the strategic, organisational and financial health of our company is strong, and we are confident that our purpose-led and performance-driven culture will drive continued sustainable long-term value creation," added ’t Hart.
News by Reuters, edited by by ESM – your source for the latest drinks news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.