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Carlsberg A/S (CARL-A.KO) on Wednesday proposed a bigger payout for shareholders after growing beer sales across all of its major markets in 2018.
Net profit for the year rose to 5.31 billion Danish kroner ($812.1 million) against DKK5.29 billion expected in a FactSet poll and compared with DKK1.26 billion the previous year. Earnings in 2017 were weighed by a DKK4.6 billion impairment of its Baltika brand in Russia.
Revenue rose to DKK62.5 billion in the year from DKK60.66 billion a year earlier, with a 4.9% rise in beer sales contributing to an 5.4% jump in overall beverage volumes. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected revenue of DKK62.1 billion.
The company doesn’t disclose any further financial information in its quarterly trading statements.
The brewer is proposing a 13% dividend increase to DKK18 a share and a share buy-back program of DKK4.5 billion, leading to cash returns to shareholders for the year of DKK7.2 billion.
For 2019, the company said it will continue to drive organic net revenue growth while maintaining tight cost control and strict cash discipline. Its regional priorities will be to increase net revenue and operating margin in Western Europe, drive growth in Asia through premiumization, and strengthen market leadership in Eastern Europe.
It expects to deliver mid-single-digit-percentage organic growth in operating profit in 2019, with capital expenditure at constant currencies expected at around DKK4.5 billion.
Based on the spot rates as of Feb. 5, Carlsberg assumes a DKK translation impact of around zero for this year.
“We invested significant resources in our brands and activities, and we continue to target top-line growth and profit improvement in the coming years,” Chief Executive Cees ‘t Hart said.
Write to Dominic Chopping at [email protected]; @domchopping @WSJNordics
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