Danish brewer Carlsberg said Wednesday that its 2018 net profit rose to 5.31 billion kroner ($811 million) from 1.26 billion kroner a year earlier, on strong beer sales across its major markets, boosted by unusually hot weather in western Europe and the football World Cup.
Revenue increased 3 percent to 62.5 billion kroner and CEO Cees 't Hart said the Copenhagen-based group had "delivered a strong set of results for 2018." Carlsberg didn't publish net income figures for the fourth quarter of 2018. It said its operating profit outlook for 2019 was "mid-single-digit percentage organic growth."
The brewer noted an increase in revenue in Asia and eastern Europe. In India, volumes grew by 19 percent, China delivered "very strong results" with growth of 15 percent while its key Russian beer market last year grew for the first time since 2007, Carlsberg said. Revenue in Russia grew about 3 percent, supported by the weather and the World Cup.
Hart added they will recommend "a 13 percent increase in dividend to 18 kroner per share and initiate a share buy-back program of 4.5 billion kroner ($688 million), leading to cash returns to shareholders for the year of 7.2 billion kroner ($1.1 billion)." Carlsberg shares rose nearly 4 percent in Copenhagen to 780.8 kroner.(dpa)