KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — The global Covid-19 pandemic has hampered the beer industry, but the recent ease of lockdowns in several nations including Malaysia has seen Danish multinational brewer Carlsberg Group slowly recover its profits.
Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Berhad’s third quarter earnings for 2020 showed commendable earnings when contrasted with the previous quarter, in which net profit nearly tripled by 281.7 per cent to RM40.6 million on the back of a revenue growth of 51.5 per cent to RM435.3 million quarter-on-quarter.
However, when comparing the quarter under review with the corresponding quarter in the previous year, the Group posted a lower revenue and net profit by 19.7 per cent and 41.3 per cent, respectively.
These were mainly due to lower sales but also mitigated by lower marketing spend and reduction in operating expenses.
For the first nine months which ended on September 30 (9MFY20) the Group recorded a revenue of RM1.31 billion, or a 22 per cent decline, whilst profit from operations dropped 45.5 per cent to RM153.8 million amid a challenging operating environment due to the pandemic.
In Malaysia, revenue for 9MFY20 slipped by 23.6 per cent to RM942.0 million and profit from operations declined by 46.7 per cent to RM113.0 million.
On the comparable basis of the third quarter of 2020 versus the third quarter of 2019, revenue dropped by 26.2 per cent to RM288.5 million, with profit from operations declining by 57.2 per cent to RM26.8 million, which has been attributed to lower sales which were partially offset by lower marketing and operating expenses.
Carlsberg Group managing director Stefano Clini said as the group enters the fourth quarter, the recent spike in Covid-19 cases and the subsequent stricter lockdown measures imposed in most states in Malaysia have taken another toll on on-trade consumption which had been on the path toward fragile recovery in the third quarter.
“In these uncertain times, we will continue to focus on our strategic priorities while working closely with our business partners and distributors to be highly agile and adaptable within a volatile operating environment,” he said in a statement.
Clini said the group expects that economic and business recovery will be slow under the threat of the ongoing pandemic, and it remain focused on the health and safety of its employees and customers while ensuring the sustainability of their operations in the short and long terms.
“We reiterate our shared stance as part of the Confederation of Malaysian Brewers Berhad on the potential losses to government tax revenue resulting from contraband beer.
“As such, we applaud the Malaysian government for not increasing excise duties on beer during the recent Budget 2021 announcement, as we believe any increase will further incentivise illicit trade while making legitimate beer less affordable for consumers, especially in a time where local retailers and food and beverage operators are struggling to stay afloat,” he said.
Clini also thanked Carlsberg’s consumers and customers for their patronage and loyalty, and their employees for “going the extra mile in this extraordinary time”.
“This has helped the Group weather the storm and continue our contribution to the economy and the community, such as through the completion of our Safer Together initiatives for Malaysian food and beverage businesses and vernacular schools,” he said.