Carlsberg Q4 profits hit by continuing decline in Europe

HELSINKI – Carlsberg says poor sales in Europe more than halved its fourth-quarter profit despite a slight increase in overall revenue, and the Danish brewer gave a guarded outlook for the year.

Describing 2015 as a “mixed and challenging year,” CEO Cees ‘t Hart said that the Asian market “continues to perform strongly.”

Net profit in the quarter was 78 million kroner ($11.7 million), down from 168 million kroner a year earlier. Net sales in the quarter grew 2 per cent to 14.6 billion kroner.

Carlsberg, which announced 2,000 job cuts in November, said its plan to cut annual costs by up to 2 billion kroner by 2018 was on target.

The group said its beer volumes last year were down 4 per cent, mainly due to the continuing decline in eastern Europe.