Carlsberg shares fall on earnings as it eyes disposals

Carlsberg has promised to address poorly performing parts of its business after half-year results came in slightly below expectations, sending its shares down 5%.

The Copenhagen-based company said it was sticking to a forecast for full-year organic operating profit growth in the low-single figures in percentage terms.

Chief Executive Cees‘t Haart, who took the job in June 2015, indicated more changes would be made as part of his seven-year strategy to boost growth.

Soon to become the third largest brewer in the world behind Heineken following the planned mega-merger of AB Inbev and SAB Miller, the chief executive said more assets were to be divested but declined to name them in order not to weaken his negotiating position.

His plan is to focus on big cities, craft beer and core markets. As part of his strategy, Carlsberg has shed 2,080 white collar employees, sold assets in Britain, closed 11 breweries in China and written down the value of its ailing Russia business.

The company reported a six-month operating profit before special items of 3.45bn Danish crowns (€463m). The shares are down 5.4% this year.

Total sales volumes fell 1% due to lower volumes in countries like Britain, Poland and Finland, but organic revenue grew by 4%. Analysts said it was not all doom and gloom.

“The new strategy of finding a balance between volume growth and value creation is already showing its effects,” said Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard.


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