Danish brewer Carlsberg’s India business grew merely 1% in volumes last year, a sharp decline from 19% growth in 2018, as changed excise regulations and taxes in some states impacted sales in the second half, the maker of Carlsberg and Tuborg beer said.
Carlsberg has about 18% market share in India where the segment of strong beer accounts for about 80% of the market. It has 2 strong beer brands — Tuborg Strong & Carlsberg Elephant. Tuborg accounts for more than 66% of the company’s annual sales. However, Carlsberg’s India business grew only 1% in volumes last year, a sharp decline from 19% growth in 2018 .
Founded in 1847 by J. C. Jacobsen, the company’s headquarters is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since Jacobsen’s death in 1887, the majority owner of the company has been the Carlsberg Foundation. The company employs more than 40,000 people, primarily located in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia.
“The weakness in second half and especially Q4 was driven by several factors, including change in excise duties and regulation in a few states,” Cees’t Hart, global chief executive officer of Carlsberg, said in an investors’ call. Revenue growth was in the high single digits, “supported by price increases and lower rebates”, he said.
The April-June quarter typically accounts for nearly 45% of the annual sales in the beer segment, according to Global Data. Last year, the Lok Sabha elections in April-May also coincided with the Indian Premiere League cricket tournament and summer months, which have both boosted demand for beer in a huge way. While companies expected a pickup after elections, large markets such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala saw either changes to the route to market or price hikes, impacting demand.