Cheer for beer drinkers

Briefing the media: (from left) Lehmann, independent non-executive chairman Datuk Toh Ah Wah and chief financial officer Lim Chee Keat at the press briefing held in conjunction with the group’s 49th AGM.

KUALA LUMPUR: CARLSBERG BREWERY MALAYSIA BHD does not foresee additional price increases for its products this year.

Speaking at a press briefing held in conjunction with the group’s AGM yesterday, Carlsberg Malaysia managing director Lars Lehmann said there should not be further product price increases given that the group had hedged the prices of its raw materials for the year.

“Malt prices were up by 15% to 20% this year due to bad barley harvests in Europe and Australia.

“On the other hand, glass bottle prices increased by 4% in 2019, as compared to last year.

“We have hedged our needs for the rest of 2019, particularly for malt and barley, which are the two major raw material components,” he said, adding that the product price increase introduced earlier this month would offset any extra increase in raw material prices.

Carlsberg Malaysia adjusted the price of certain products to distributors and retailers between 3% to 6%, effective April 1, 2019.

Meanwhile, the EU-Singapore trade agreement, which is due to be implemented in the fourth quarter of this year, will result in tougher competition from imports in Singapore.

Beer imported from the EU into Singapore will not be imposed import tax, resulting in an increase in pricing competition.

However, Lehmann said this development will not be a huge impact to the group and it will not completely change the momentum of the group’s business in Singapore.

Going forward, Lehmann hinted that the group is looking to introduce alcohol-free beverages, in a move to secure new revenue streams.

“It could be classic non-alcoholic versions of our existing drinks, like removing the alcohol content from Carlsberg. “Or, it could be new product segments — we are unable to disclose further at this point in time. “It is important that our new product(s) are the right solutions for our Malaysian consumers,” he said.



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