Carlsberg sees mid-single-digit operating profit growth in 2020

Coronavirus will impact our topline, Carlsberg CEO says

Danish brewer Carlsberg on Tuesday reported full-year sales broadly in line with expectations, helped by stronger sales in Asia, and said it expects to deliver mid-single-digit organic operating profit growth in 2020.

The world's third-largest brewer said sales grew organically by 3.2% for the year to 65.9 billion Danish crowns ($9.76 billion), just below the 66.1 billion expected by analysts in a poll compiled by Carlsberg.

Its price/mix, which indicates whether the company sold more of its expensive beer, was 3% for the full year of 2019.

"We saw healthy top-line growth, strong margin improvement and strong cash flow," Chief Executive Officer Cees 't Hart said in a statement.

The brewer said sales in Asia grew organically by 12.3%, with a price/mix of 6% mainly driven by China, where sales grew 8% despite a slightly declining market.

Carlsberg said it will propose to increase its dividend by 17% to 21 crowns per share and initiate a share buy-back program worth 5 billion crown in the next 12 months.