Danish brewer Carlsberg has lifted its operating profit growth outlook for this year as it has been able to resume operation in Ukraine and on the back of strong performance in Europe and Asia, it said on Monday.
"The Group has delivered better-than-expected business performance, particularly as a consequence of strong on-trade recovery in our European markets and strong results in many Asian markets," it said in a statement.
Carlsberg suspended production at its Ukrainian breweries after Russia's invasion but has since managed to ramp up at all three sites meaning that its full-year operating result in Ukraine will now again be included in the operating profit.
It now expects 'high single-digit-percentage organic growth in operating profit' this year.
This replaces a previous guidance from 21 April of -5% to +2% operating growth.
Beer Sales Fall
On 2 May, Carlsberg said its beer sales in Poland fell by 3-4% in March and have continued to drop in April, underlining the troubles facing brewers in a market which has been declining as consumers switch to wine and spirits.
The company's chief executive Cees't Hart said the trend has been exacerbated this year by an additional excise tax, inflation and since February the refugee crisis precipitated by Russia's invasion of Poland's neighbour Ukraine.
Almost three million Ukrainian refugees have entered Poland in less than two months, with the population of Warsaw alone growing by around 15% since Moscow began what it calls a 'special military operation' in Ukraine on 24 February.
"A lot of big parties were cancelled, and the lives of many people were affected as they're taking care of the refugees," Hart said, adding: "Their minds are simply in a different place than celebrating life and having a beer together."
News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more Drinks stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.