Carlsberg AS, the Danish brewer, said full-year profit declined 4.2 percent because of weaker sales in Russia, where it is the biggest beer maker, due to tough competition.
It reported that it made a consolidated net profit of 5.69 billion Danish Kroner ($1.01 billion) in the year to 31 December 2011. The company also said that its net profit nearly tripled in the fourth quarter as a result of higher revenues. The net profit for the quarter, ending December 31, rose to 912 million Danish kroner ($160 million) from 316 million kroner ($560 million) a year earlier. Sales in Russia got a temporary boost in the fourth quarter as suppliers and drinkers stocked up on beer in advance of a Jan. 1 tax increase.
The economic crisis in Europe has also badly affected the sales of the company. Carlsberg got more than 29 percent of its revenue from its Eastern European and Russian businesses in 2011. The company said, citing data from Nielsen Holdings NV, its market share in Russia dropped to 37.4 percent in 2011 from 39.2 percent a year earlier.
While 2011 was a challenging year, with head-winds from rising input costs and a challenging Russian market, our Northern & Western European and Asian regions continued to perform well, said chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen.
Carlsberg has also said it plans to buy up the remaining 15 percent of its Russian division Baltika this year. It said buying the remaining shares in its Russian unit would immediately boost profits. The Carlsberg Group will take the necessary steps to arrange for a delisting of Baltika as soon as possible, the firm said in its statement. We currently expect this to happen not later than May 2012, it added.