Carlsberg sees potential in Russian market despite tough regulations, rise in excise taxes, CEO says

MOSCOW , January 22, 2014 () – Carlsberg sees potential in the Russian market, despite tough regulation and a rise in excises.

The Russian market has been difficult in the last few years because of political regulation of the industry and a rise in excises, Carlsberg's CEO Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on the sidelines of the Davos Forum.

The market has already survived its most difficult period in terms of regulation, he said. The Russian market has potential and Russia is a major market for the beer industry overall as well as for Carslberg, he said.

The Danish brewer is the biggest player on Russia's beer market with an almost 40% share. Carlsberg Vice President and CEO of Carlsberg subsidiary Baltika Isaac Sheps said last year that the company had observed a slowdown in Russia amid reduced consumer confidence and as a consequence reduced demand.

Carlsberg increased its decline forecast for the Russian market in 2013 in the third quarter. The company expects the market to see a drop in the high single digits of 7%-9%. Previously it had forecast a 5% drop compared to 2012.

Carlsberg is one of the biggest brewers in the world. It has over 500 brands in its portfolio, including Carlsberg, Tuborg, Kronenbourg 1664 and Baltika. The company sells in over 150 countries. Carlsberg sold 120 billion liters of beer in 2012.

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