Shares in Carlsberg drop in value

<p>The Danish brewer has cut profit forecasts following weaker-than-expected results.</p>

Danish brewer Carlsberg has seen a steep drop in shares today, following the announcement that the company lowered its annual profit forecast.

The company said results had been weaker than expected in Western Europe and also pointed to market decline in Eastern Europe. These offset the strength that the firm has seen in Asia.

On Wednesday morning (August 19th), the share price in Copenhagen fell by more than nine per cent and by 5:00pm (CET), shares were down by 62.00 to 528.00 – a 10.51 per cent drop.

The company's adjusted net profit fell 23 per cent to 1.74 billion Danish kroner (£163 million) during the first six months of 2015.

Carlsberg says that sales in Ukraine fell by an estimated 17 per cent. The company says this is a result of the country's deteriorating economic climate and significant price increases. 

International strength

The company warns that its strong performance in Asia would be unlikely to offset the market challenges seen in Europe.

The company's international premium brands have seen market share. Somersby increased by 26 per cent, Grimbergen was up 19 per cent, Tuborg increased 16 per cent and Kronenbourg 1664 was up two per cent.

Carlsberg Group now says it expects organic operating profit to decline slightly from previous estimates of mid- to high- single-digit growth.

CEO Cees 't Hart, who joined the company in mid-June, commented that the first half of 2015 had been challenging for the group.

"In Western Europe, we experienced bad weather in Q2 in Northern Europe and did not achieve the full range of anticipated savings," he explained.

"For the full year, we therefore do not expect that the strong Asian performance will be enough to offset the weaker than expected results in Western Europe and the challenging market conditions in Eastern Europe," he added.

He noted that the company has a "heightened sense of urgency" to start making efficiency improvements that were started at the beginning of the year.

"While I'm delighted with the enthusiasm and commitment of our employees, I also recognise that we must step up further to achieve the full potential of the group," he said.

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