DENMARK – Global brewer, Carlsberg has reported better results in the year where net revenues rose 3% to US$9.53 billion (DDK 62.5 billion) boosted by strong performance of its core and craft beer brands.

Total organic volume grew 4.8% while the company reported 11% increase in organic operating profit.

Craft & speciality portfolio delivered growth of 26%, with international speciality brands Grimbergen and 1664 Blanc and craft brands such as Brooklyn performing strongly.

Carlsberg which makes brands such as Tuborg, Carlsberg, Grimbergen, 1664 Blanc recorded sales volume growth of 3.6% in Europe, attributing it to warm weather in Western Europe and the boost provided by the 2018 World Cup.

Sales volumes grew by 19% in India and by 15% in China, while revenue in Russia grew 3%, also boosted by warm weather and the World Cup.

Tuborg sales rose 10%, supported by good growth in China, India and Western Europe, while global Carlsberg sales volumes grew 5%.

Alcohol-free brew volumes rose 33% in Western Europe.

The company launched its new alcohol-free beer brand, Birell in Europe to capitalise on the growing taste for alcohol-free beverages.

“We delivered a strong set of results for 2018.

In line with our ambitions for SAIL’22, we accelerated top-line growth, improved margins, delivered a strong cash flow and reduced debt even further.

At the same time, we invested significant resources in our brands and activities, and we continue to target top-line growth and profit improvement in the coming years.

“We’re pleased that, on the back of the strong results, the Supervisory Board will recommend a 13% increase in dividend to DKK 18 (US$2.74) per share and initiate a share buy-back programme of DKK 4.5 billion (US$684.78 million), leading to cash returns to shareholders for the year of DKK 7.2 billion (US$1.09 billion).”

Sustainability report

Carlsberg launched Together Towards ZERO in 2017, an initiative to promote sustainable innovations to consumers.

The company has said it has made good progress towards achieving zero carbon footprint, zero water waste, zero irresponsible drinking and a zero accidents culture.

Since 2015, the company said it has reduced relative carbon emissions by 20% and water consumption by 9%, coupled with initiatives to bring down its environmental impacts.

In 2018, Carlsberg launched a series of consumer-facing sustainable innovations, including Snap Pack, which reduces both plastic waste and carbon emissions.

As part of this program, Carlsberg said 20% of its total energy comes from renewable sources such as biogas, biomass, solar, wind and hydro.