Carlsberg crafts profit rise with premium beers

(MENAFN- AFP) Carlsberg said Wednesday it managed a net profit rise of 23 percent in the first half thanks to craft and other premium beers even as overall sales volumes declined.

Net profit came in at 2.3 billion kroner (310 million euros, $362 million) in six months to June on sales of 31.8 billion kroner, up two percent.

Volumes declined by two percent but Carlsberg's strategy, launched in 2015, of focusing on top-of-the shelf brands including craft beers such as Grimbergen and alcohol-free beer has paid off, with craft and specialty beers rising by 25 percent in volume.

"The results show that we're well on track to deliver on our key priorities for this year," CEO Cees 't Hart said in a statement. These included efforts "to grow the top-line in the future", he said.

Carlsberg said it had launched "crafty" line extensions of local brands, developed its "Brooklyn" brand, bought London Fields Brewery and started a microbrewery in Lithuania.

In Asia, the Tuborg brand spearheaded efforts to develop the premium market in the region.

In Western Europe, Carlsberg's largest market, volumes rose in France and Poland, and premium did best in the Nordic countries and Britain.

But the stock market's immediate reaction to weaker overall volumes was negative, with Carlsberg shares down 2.6 percent in morning trading on the Copenhagen stock exchange.


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