A solid set of results despite COVID-19, with good margin improvement, strong cash flow, higher dividends and a new share buy-back programme
Unless otherwise stated, comments in this announcement refer to full-year performance.
• Organic revenue -8.4%; reported -11.2% to DKK 58,541m.
• Revenue/hl -5% (organic).
• Total organic volume -3.8%.
• Tuborg volume -9%, Carlsberg -10%, 1664 Blanc +8%, Grimbergen -2% and Somersby +2%.
• Craft & speciality volume growth of 1%; alcohol-free brew volume growth of 11%.
• Organic operating profit -3.1%; reported -7.3% to DKK 9,699m.
• Operating margin improvement of +70bp to 16.6%.
• Adjusted net profit growth of 3.3% to DKK 6,363m; reported net profit -8.2% to DKK 6,030m.
• Adjusted earnings per share increase of 6.3% to DKK 43.6.
• Free cash flow, including the acquisition of brand rights and acquisitions, DKK 5,057m.
• Net debt/EBITDA of 1.51x (2019: 1.25x).
• ROIC increased by 10bp to 8.9%; excluding goodwill +80bp to 23.2%.
• The Group carried out several M&A transactions: Marston’s in the UK, Wernesgrüner in Germany, Brooklyn brand rights in our markets and asset restructuring in China (see pages 8-9).
• The Supervisory Board will propose to the AGM a 5% increase in dividend to DKK 22.0 per share, equal to an adjusted payout ratio of 50%.
• During 2020, the Company bought back shares amounting to DKK 2.9bn. Today, the Company will launch a new DKK 750m share buy-back programme, which will run until 23 April. On 28 April, in connection with the Q1 trading statement, we will provide information on the next quarterly share buy-back programme for 2021 (see pages 22-23).
In most markets, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact business performance, which means a challenging start to 2021. The uncertainty related to the extent and length of the pandemic, further government actions, consumer reactions and macroeconomic developments remains high and may have significant implications for business performance. As a result, 2021 guidance is:
• Organic growth in operating profit within the range of 3% to 10%. Based on the currency spot rates at 4 February, we assume a translation impact of around DKK -200m for 2021. See page 9 for the assumptions underlying the guidance.
CEO Cees ’t Hart says: “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted lives worldwide and was a significant challenge for Carlsberg in 2020. During the year, our top priority was the health and wellbeing of our employees, while also ensuring the health of our business and preparing ourselves for post-COVID-19 times. This will continue in 2021.
“While the pandemic is not yet behind us and we don’t know how long it will remain a challenge in 2021, we believe that Carlsberg will emerge even stronger from the crisis. During 2020, we adjusted our cost base to a new reality and implemented new ways of working. These changes have led to a more flexible company, making us optimistic about our ability to deliver on our longterm strategic priorities.
“The Group’s financial situation remains strong. Despite COVID-19, we improved our operating margin, delivered strong cash flow, increased dividend per share, carried out a sizeable share buyback programme and strengthened the business through acquisitions. We’re pleased that the Supervisory Board will recommend a further increase in the dividend for 2020 in addition to initiating a new share buy-back programme.”