Breweries and Distilleries

Carlsberg CEO predicts ‘Roaring Twenties’ sector recovery

Despite suffering a difficult 2020, the Danish brewer believes summer will bring a ‘surge’ in demand

Carlsberg expects to experience a spike in demand similar to the roaring twenties as restrictions ease in what the group’s CEO believes will be a “normal summer”.

Cees ‘t Hart, CEO at the group, told the Financial Times that despite the “high uncertainty” surrounding 2021, firms that have survived the pandemic could do “very well” in the coming months.

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He said: “We will appreciate what it is to be free to go out to pubs and see friends.It will not just be a few weeks or a month; it will last a lot longer.

“If vaccinations come through, we’re pretty optimistic because we see people want to go out. In the 1920s, after Spanish Flu and [the] first world war, there was a dramatic surge and you saw things like jazz clubs and ballroom dancing.”

The Danish brewer endured a difficult 2020 alongside much of the wider hospitality industry, as it saw global sales to pubs, restaurants, and hotels fall 20%.

However, Carlsberg did increase its profit margin, return on invested capital and dividend per share, while also recently forecasting upwards of a 10% rise in underlying operating profits this year.

Hart added: “We’ve proven in 2020 that we’re a really resilient business. If you need to make your business resilient in a time of crisis it’s too late. We weathered the storm and we will come out of it well.”

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