(Press Association) Profits at Carlsberg have plunged more than 70% after a crackdown on alcohol abuse in Russia took the fizz out of beer sales.
The Tuborg and Somersby Cider-maker saw annual net profits sink to 1.3bn Danish krone (£155m) last year, down from 4.5bn krone (£536.1m) as Russian beer volumes dropped 14%.
The Copenhagen-based firm said it was hit by 4.8bn krone (£571.8m) charge linked to its Russian Baltika brand. Russia is a key market for Carlsberg, but a nationwide cap on plastic beer bottles at 1.5 litres has taken its toll on performance.
Annual pre-tax profits also made for bleak reading, dropping 51% to 3.5bn krone (£416.9m) over the period, after it was confronted by a 4% drop in total beer volumes to 112.4 million hectolitres.
Chief executive Cees’t Hart said the group was pencilling in a single-digit rise in operating profit this year and had boosted the 2017 dividend by 60%.