SHAH ALAM: CARLSBERG BREWERY MALAYSIA BHD will further capitalise on the premium beer segment to drive growth moving forward.
“If you look at the historical growth rate of the premium segment, it is indeed becoming more and more sizeable, ” Carlsberg Malaysia managing director Ted Akiskalos said at a press briefing yesterday.
He, however, said the mainstream beer market would still be the heavier contributor to the group and that it is still an important business segment.
“I wouldn’t say that the (premium beer) segment will eclipse the core beer market because there’s going to be consumption occasions that are relevant for both segments. It’s not about eclipsing but about catering to different occasions, ” Akiskalos said.
He said growth in the premium beer segment market indicates that consumers are increasingly looking for value over volume.
“They appear to be looking for and are willing to pay for differentiated experiences from the past. Of course these experiences need to deliver to expectations as they need to justify the premium being paid, ” he said.
“This is why it is a bit of a different ballgame than what it has been in the past. We do see this trend continuing into the future of growth which is a great development, ” he added.
In the first half of its financial year 2019 ended June 30 (FY19), Carlsberg said its premium beer segment saw a 22% volume growth compared to the same period of the previous year.
This segment grew 19% in the second quarter of FY19 compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
Carlsberg said its 1664 Blanc and Connor’s stout porter grew 51% and 45% respectively in the first half of the year on consumer preference, marketing investments and expanded distribution.
While Somersby and the Asahi super dry branded beers grew 8% in the first half of the FY19.
The Brooklyn brand which is imported from New York and distributed by Carlsberg in Malaysia and Singapore had seen a 130% growth in the first half of the year.
Notwithstanding these latest developments, Carlsberg also said it is expecting growth in the core beer market.
“We are also expecting growth in the mainstream segment. Carlsberg smooth draught is already delivering single-digit growth. We are putting increments behind the green label to ensure they deliver growth along the way, ” he said.
The company said Carlsberg smooth draught was the key driver of the core beer category with first half volumes rising 50% in Malaysia and 32% in Singapore.
Carlsberg’s overall core beer market grew by 5% in the first half.
Meanwhile, the company is also hopeful that the government would not impose any further increase in excise duties in the coming Budget 2020.
In its second quarter FY19 results, Carlsberg’s net profit grew 2.1% to RM65.3mil while revenue grew 15.7% to RM480.5mil.
It said the organic revenue for the second quarter grew by 11.2%, excluding the impact from the sale and service tax.
“The sixth consecutive quarter on quarter growth in top and bottom line was mainly contributed by higher sales in both Malaysia and Singapore, ” the company said in its press release.
It had declared a second quarter single tier interim dividend of 16.1 sen per share.