Carlsberg brewer posts 6 per cent growth in 2012 earnings despite sluggish European market

COPENHAGEN – Carlsberg says that net profit in 2012 grew 6 per cent year-on-year to 5.5 billion kroner ($980 million), or slightly more than forecasted.

The Denmark-based brewing group says annual sales increased 3 per cent to 67.2 billion kroner ($12 billion) despite a sluggish beer market in Western Europe, which accounts for 42 per cent of the group’s sales by volume.

Carlsberg said in a statement Monday that in the fourth quarter the group managed to gain lost momentum in the key Russian market, where by the end of 2012 it accounted for 38.3 per cent of the country’s total beer sales.

The company says its aggressive expansion drive in Asia last year was successful, with sales in the region jumping 9 per cent and revenue growth reaching 19 per cent.