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Carlsberg growth held back by Russian woes

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Carlsberg growth held back by Russian woes
While Russia continues to pull Carlsberg down, things are looking up in Asia and western Europe. Photo: Ilya Naymushin
13:00 CEST+02:00
Danish brewer Carlsberg on Tuesday reported quarterly results slightly above expectations as dwindling sales in Russia were partly offset by higher beer volumes in Asia and western Europe.
Carlsberg's revenue in eastern Europe tumbled 30 percent to 1.735 billion kroner (233 million euros, $261 million), mostly as the result of the lower Russian ruble.
 
"Due to the difficult macro environment in the region, the Russian beer market declined by an estimated nine percent and the Ukrainian beer market by an estimated 14 percent," the company said in a statement.
 
In January Carlsberg closed two of its breweries in Russia -- where its Baltika brand has a 38 percent market share -- cutting its production capacity in the country by 15 percent.
 
Organically, meaning acquisitions and mergers are not included, the group's beer volumes fell one percent  as they gained five percent in western Europe and four percent in Asia.
 
Earnings before interest, tax and special items rose 46 percent from a year ago to 661 million kroner, which was higher than the 562 million kroner consensus of analysts surveyed by news agency Ritzau.
 
The net loss for the period widened to 90 million kroner from 67 million, as revenue grew four percent to 13.471 billion, also slightly ahead of expectations.
 
The group reiterated that for the full year it expects operating profit to grow organically "by mid to high single digit percentages."
 
Shares in Carlsberg were 4.9 percent lower in midday trading on the Copenhagen bourse, where the main index was 1.7 percent lower.
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