A limit on the size of plastics beer bottles in Russia has affected Carlsberg’s 2017 sales and profits with a DKK 4.8 billion ($788 million) impairment of the Russian Blatika brand affecting net profit, which stood at 1.26 billion kroner ($210m), down from DKK 4.49m ($738m) the previous year.
Sales also dropped to DKK 61.8bn ($10.1bn) from DKK 62.6bn ($10.2bn) in 2016. However, the world’s third-largest brewer by volume behind AB InBev and Heineken, explained in a statement that volumes had grown in all of its other markets except Russia, which saw a decline of 14 per cent.
Carlsberg took over Russia’s main beer brand Baltika in 2008, with the country then providing the brewer with around one fifth of its overall sales. However, it has since struggled with advertising restrictions and tax hikes designed to stop alcohol abuse in the country.
A law was also introduced in 2016 that limited the size of beer bottles to no more than 1.5 litres: “Our Russian volumes and market share were severely impacted by the downsizing,” Carlsberg’s chief executive Cees ’t Hart explained.