Shares in Carlsberg fell by over 3% yesterday as the Danish brewing giant said sales fell more than expected in the first quarter due to decline in the Chinese market and foreign exchange fluctuation.
The company’s shares are down by nearly 2% on this time last year.
Sales fell 3% to 13.01 billion Danish crowns (€1.75bn), missing the 13.18bn crowns analyst estimate.
The negative impact from foreign exchange amounted to five percentage points, the brewer said.
Sales in Asia, one of Carlsberg’s primary growth regions, fell 0.7% to 3.5 billion crowns. Analysts had expected growth of more than 2%.
“Beer market development in Asia was mixed with continued growth in markets such as India and Nepal while the Chinese market declined by 3%-4%,” Carlsberg said in a statement.
China is increasingly important for big international beer brands as growth elsewhere stalls. The country accounted for half of the industry’s global volume increase last year.
Carlsberg’s sales in Asia surpassed those in Eastern Europe last year but volume fell in China.
Carlsberg decided to close seven breweries mainly in eastern China to focus on strongholds in the western part of the country. Carlsberg is the smallest of the world’s four biggest brewers.
The Danish brewer, which did not disclose first-quarter profit, said it expected low single-digit organic operating profit growth in 2016. It also said it expected a negative foreign exchange impact of 550m crowns in 2016, rather than earlier guidance of 600m.
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