The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact business performance, and market volatility and uncertainty remain high. However, in light of the good results for H1 and the start of Q3, Carlsberg upgrades the earnings guidance for 2021:
Organic growth in operating profit within the range of 8-11% (previously 5-10%).
A translation impact of around DKK -150 million is assumed for 2021 based on the spot rates at 17 August (previously DKK -250m).
Chief executive officer Cees 't Hart says, "We are very satisfied that the Group delivered a strong set of results despite the continued market uncertainty as a result of the pandemic. Top-line growth, operating margin improvement and significantly higher cash flow demonstrate the strength of our geographic footprint and brand portfolio and the strong execution of our initiatives to safeguard the short-and long-term health of the Carlsberg Group. The resilience of our strategic priorities is further evidenced by overall figures for H1 2021 being ahead of H1 2019, on a like-for-like basis."
"Across many markets, people and businesses continue to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Although we see a gradual return to a more normal environment in markets across Europe, other markets, particularly in Asia, remain subject to severe restrictions due to new waves of the infection."
"While the uncertainty about the remainder of the year continues, we're satisfied with the strength of the H1 results and the good start to Q3, enabling us to upgrade the earnings guidance for the year and launch the third quarterly share buy-back program."
Highlights of the financial statement
Organic revenue growth of 9.6% (Q2: +14.3%); reported +9.9% to DKK 31,687 million (Q2: +17.7%).
Flat revenue/hl with an improvement in Q2 (+5%) as on-trade started to recover in many European markets.
Total organic volume growth of 10.0% (Q2: +8.8%); reported +11.9% (Q2: +11.3%).
Tuborg volume +28%, Carlsberg +2%, 1664 Blanc +25%, Grimbergen +3% and Somersby +17%.
Craft & speciality volume +21%, alcohol-free brews +26%.
Organic operating profit growth of 15.6%; reported +10.7% to DKK 5,111 million.
Operating margin improvement of 10bp to 16.1%.
Adjusted net profit growth of 10.3% to DKK 3,168 million; reported net profit +6.0% to DKK 3,027 million.
Adjusted earnings per share (excluding treasury shares) +12.3% to DKK 21.9.
Free cash flow at DKK 5,281 million (2020: DKK 3,141million).
Net debt/EBITDA 1.43x (year-end 2020: 1.51x).
ROIC improvement of 100bp to 9.5%; excluding goodwill +310bp to 25.0%.
The second tranche of the share buy-back, amounting to DKK 1bn, was concluded on 13 August. The company recently launched the third quarterly share buy-back programme, amounting to DKK 1billion.