Carlsberg (CABGY) shares fell sharply in the opening hour of trading Wednesday after the brewer said it expected to deliver mid-single-digit organic operating profit growth in 2017 as sales in its key Russian market suffer from a ban on larger bottles.
Carlsberg reported a full-year net profit of Dkk4.49 billion ($645 million) for 2016, largely in-line with analysts' forecasts, and a 5% increase in operating profit. However, the brewer warned that the Russian market, where Carlsberg shifts about about a third of all beer sold, is expected to shrink by at least 5% this year after the country banned 1.5 litre plastic bottles as of this year.
Carlsberg shares fell 2.7% to Dkk612 each by 09:00 GMT in Copenhagen, wiping out most of their three month gain.
"The Russian beer market declined by an estimated 1-2% for the full year and an estimated 4% in Q4. The market development during the second half of the year was helped by very warm weather in Q3," the company said. "Although some macro indicators have started to show improvement in 2016,the market remains impacted by the ongoing macroeconomic challenges in the country."
Carlsberg now sees "mid-single-digit" growth for its operating profit this year and promised a further reduction in its financial leverage.
"In 2017, we're determined to achieve a substantial proportion of the remaining Funding the Journey benefits, allowing us to grow earnings organically and invest in SAIL'22-related activities to support the future growth of the company," said CEO Cees 't Hart.