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Russian bear Takes A Bite Out Of Carlsberg

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Danish brewer Carlsberg, the world’s fourth- largest beer maker, cut its full-year sales forecast, saying the Russian market will contract more than it expected this year.

which dives into the company’s financial results and finds some fascinating stuff. The story quotes Carlsberg as saying that Russia’s plan to triple the excise duty on beer in 2010 will “clearly affect the beer market negatively.” Carlsberg is a major player in Russia, with about 41 percent market share, by virtue of buying Russian leader OAO Baltika Breweries last year. From the story:

“Recent trends in the Russian beer market have been poor,” Matthew Webb, an analyst at Cazenove & Co. in London, said in a note today. “Given the uncertainty over excise duties, we would concede that the trends are not encouraging.”

Like Anheuser-Busch InBev, Carlsberg has tried to move Russian consumers to more higher-margin, mid-priced brews and away from cheap brands. So far, it’s met with mixed results. The Russian market contracted 10 percent in the first nine months of the year. The rate of decline will be the same for the full year, Carlsberg said. That was worse than the trend previously laid out by Carlsberg, which had forecast a 5-6 percent drop this year,

This will be interesting. One analyst told Lager Heads that “growth will come back to Russia.” But until it does, global brewers are in a pretty tough sitaution there.

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Sunday, August 20, 11:42 am

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