Carlsberg buys shareholders another round after strong Asia sales

Danish brewer Carlsberg announced Wednesday it would boost its dividend after net profits quadrupled last year, driven by surging sales in Asia and a hot European summer.

Carlsberg buys shareholders another round after strong Asia sales
File photo: Asger Ladefoged/Scanpix 2017

The company's net profit attributable to shareholders rocketed to 5.3 billion kroner (710 million euros) in 2018, up from 1.3 billion kroner the previous year.

Revenue meanwhile grew three percent to 62.5 billion kroner.

Chief executive Cees't Hart hailed the results, saying the brewer's investments in brands helped deliver the gains.

“We're pleased that, on the back of the strong results, the supervisory board will recommend a 13 percent increase in dividend to 18 kroner per share,” Hart said in a statement.

After the announcement, the brewer's shares were up 2.9 percent in midday trading on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, while the main index was down slightly.

The volume of drinks the brewer sold in Asia increased by 11.7 percent last year, while sales were up 11.4 percent.

The brewer's focus on top-of-the shelf brands including craft beers such as Grimbergen and alcohol-free beer paid off, with craft and specialty beers rising by 26 percent in volume.

Sales of the Tuborg brand, which is spearheading efforts to develop the premium market in Asia, jumped 10 percent driven by growth in China and India.

In Western Europe, Carlsberg's largest market, sales rose by three percent buoyed by hot weather that stretched through the summer and into autumn.

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Denmark’s toy giant Lego offers staff bonus after bumper year

Danish toymaker Lego, the world's largest toymaker, Denmark's Lego, said on Tuesday it will offer its 20,000 employees three extra days of holiday and a special bonus after a year of bumper revenues.

Lego is rewarding staff with a Christmas bonus and extra holiday after a strong 2022.
Lego is rewarding staff with a Christmas bonus and extra holiday after a strong 2022. File photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Already popular globally, Lego has seen demand for its signature plastic bricks soar during the pandemic alongside its rapid expansion in China.

“The owner family wishes to… thank all colleagues with an extra three days off at the end of 2021,” the company said in a statement.

The unlisted family group reported a net profit of more than 6.3 billion Danish kroner (847 million euros) for the first half of 2021.

Revenues shot up 46 percent to 23 billion kroner in the same period.

It had been “an extraordinary year for the Lego Group and our colleagues have worked incredibly hard,” said the statement, which added that an unspecified special bonus would be paid to staff in April 2022.

Lego, a contraction of the Danish for “play well” (leg godt), was founded in 1932 by Kirk Kristiansen, whose family still controls the group which employs about 20,400 people in 40 countries.

READ ALSO: Lego profits tower to new heights as stores reopen