STRONG RESULTS; SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN CASH RETURNS TO SHAREHOLDERS

Highlights

  • Organic net revenue growth of 6.5%; reported net revenue growth of 3.0% to DKK 62,503m.
  • Price/mix improvement of 2%.
  • Total organic volume growth of 4.8%; reported growth of 5.3%.
    • Tuborg volume growth of 10%, Carlsberg +5%, Grimbergen +14% and 1664 Blanc +49%.
    • Craft & speciality volume growth of 26%; alcohol-free brew volumes in Western Europe +33%.
  • Funding the Journey as a specific programme successfully concluded with total benefits of around DKK 3bn.
  • Organic operating profit growth of 11.0%; reported growth of 5.1% to DKK 9,329m.
    • Gross margin improvement of 20bp and operating margin improvement of 30bp to 14.9%.
  • Adjusted net profit growth of 9% to DKK 5,359m.
  • Free cash flow of DKK 6,156m.
  • Net interest-bearing debt/EBITDA of 1.29x.
  • ROIC improvement of 120bp to 8.1%. Excluding goodwill, improvement of 520bp to 20.9%.
  • The Supervisory Board will propose a 13% increase in dividend to DKK 18.0 per share, equal to an adjusted payout ratio of 51%.
  • The Company will today initiate a 12-month share buy-back programme of DKK 4.5bn (see page 18 in the attached announcement).

2019 Earnings expectations

  • Mid-single-digit percentage organic growth in operating profit.
  • A DKK translation impact on operating profit of around zero, based on the spot rates as at 5 February.


CEO Cees ’t Hart says: “We delivered a strong set of results for 2018. In line with our ambitions for SAIL’22, we accelerated top-line growth, improved margins, delivered a strong cash flow and reduced debt even further. At the same time, we invested significant resources in our brands and activities, and we continue to target top-line growth and profit improvement in the coming years.
“We’re pleased that, on the back of the strong results, the Supervisory Board will recommend a 13% increase in dividend to DKK 18 per share and initiate a share buy-back programme of DKK 4.5bn, leading to cash returns to shareholders for the year of DKK 7.2bn.”


Contacts

Investor Relations:         
Peter Kondrup    +45 2219 1221     
Iben Steiness     +45 3327 1232

Media Relations:            
Kasper Elbjørn   +45 4179 1216       
Anders Bering    +45 4179 1217

The Carlsberg Group will present the results at a conference call today at 9.00 am CET (8.00 am GMT). Dial-in information and slide deck are available beforehand on www.carlsberggroup.com.

Attachments