"Probably the best beer in the world," is how Carlsberg has memorably described itself in an ad campaign that has been running more or less continuously for over 45 years. This world-famous brew is still one of the best-known global beers, originating from Denmark but now produced locally at more than 80 sites in almost 50 countries. Carlsberg became the dominant force in Scandinavian beverages in 2000 following merger with Norwegian competitor Pripps Ringnes. In 2004 it further strengthened its hand in Northern Europe with the acquisition of German brewer Holsten, and three years later absorbed Brasseries Kronenbourg of France and full control of Baltic Beverages in Russia and Eastern Europe as part of a joint bid with Heineken to break up the UK's Scottish & Newcastle. Russia has proved more of a burden than a benefit in recent years as a result of sharp declines in consumption. Nevertheless, as a result of steady consolidation within the beer industry, Carlsberg is now the world's third largest international brewer. Yet it remains heavily reliant upon Europe, where 75% of revenues are generated; Asia accounts for most of the rest, and the group has only minimal presence elsewhere. Through various global sponsorship deals, the main Carlsberg brand is still strongly associated with football, though more recently it has tried to a more sophisticated image. However, Tuborg is actually the group's biggest brand by volumes. Other key beers include Grimbergen, Holsten, Baltika and (everywhere except the UK) Kronenbourg. Carlsberg also has a major presence in soft drinks in Scandinavia. Cees 'T Hart is CEO. Revenues for 2018 were approx €8.4bn (DKK 62.5bn). Beer volumes were 112.2m hl. The company was founded in 1847 when ale brewer JC Jacobsen built a brewery on a hill outside Copenhagen to produce German-style lager, and named it after his son Carl. (Carlsberg is literally "Carl's hill" in Danish). The group is still controlled by a charitable foundation established by the Jacobsen family. See also Carlsberg UK.
Capsule checked 19th January 2019
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Adbrands Weekly Update 19th May 2016: Ads Of The Week: "La Revolution". In just a few weeks, the UEFA Euros football tournament will kick off an extraordinary summer of sport. Here's tournament sponsor Carlsberg's homage to host country France, an entertaining knockabout from 72andSunny Amsterdam, packed with little in-jokes and a few celebrity cameos, like legendary French defender Marcel Desailly. Meanwhile Paul the octopus, a star of the 2008 tournament, predicts Iceland to win. Get those bets in now, suckers.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Feb 2016: Carlsberg made a €1bn-plus charge against its operations in Russia, China and the UK to reduce brewing capacity, resulting in a loss of around €345m for the year. The charges include a €500m write-off against goodwill attaching to its lead Russian brand Baltika, sales of which have plunged in the wake of that country's clampdown on alcohol consumption. Excluding special items, operating profits were down by 8% year-on-year. Beer volumes slipped back for the year, but revenues rose to the equivalent of around €8.8bn.
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