Carlsberg crafts profit rise with premium beers

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.

Carlsberg crafts profit rise with premium beers
File photo: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters/Scanpix

Net profit came in at 2.3 billion kroner (310 million euros) 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.

READ ALSO: Thirsty Russians lift Carlsberg sales


Is Carlsberg about to release a paper beer bottle?

Two prototypes and new partnerships have brought Danish brewing giant Carlsberg a step closer to releasing a paper beer bottle.

Is Carlsberg about to release a paper beer bottle?
Is the glass Carlsberg bottle living on borrowed time? Photo: Kristian Juul Pedersen/Ritzau Scanpix

Carlsberg said in a press release that it was close to selling beer in paper bottles, in part to the partnership.

Having worked on development of sustainable packaging since 2015, the company is scheduled to present two prototype paper bottles in Copenhagen on Friday.

“Although we’ve not yet reached our goal, the two prototypes are a significant step on the way to achieving our ultimate ambition, which is to bring this groundbreaking technology onto the market,” deputy director of Group Development at Carlsberg, Myriam Shingleton, said via the press statement.

A ‘paper bottle union’ between Carlsberg, The Paper Bottle Company (Paboco) and three other global companies – Coca-Cola, L'Oréal and The Absolut Company – is driving the development, according to the Danish brewery.

Paboco said that the partnership with the high-profile brands would strengthen work to create sustainable packaging.

“We are working across different retail sectors, sharing risk and are together in our vision to make the paper bottle reality which would fundamentally change the sector forever,” Paboco CEO Gittan Schiöld said.

Both prototypes are constructed primarily of sustainably grown wooden fibres and have internal coatings which enable them to contain beer.

READ ALSO: Carlsberg cans plastic six-pack rings to cut waste