Company results for 2021
Despite a decrease in the volume of sales by 2.7%* in 2021 due to the market volatility during the COVID-19 pandemic, Carlsberg Azerbaijan's tax payments increased by 9%, amounting to 38.8 million AZN.
Growth in sales volumes in the modern trade channel (large chain stores) was 6.7%, while on-trade (cafes, restaurants) and DIOT (draught beer in stores) channels reached a record 20.5% over the past three years, which was thanks to the recovery of draft beer sales after the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions. On the other hand, the return of consumers to cafes and restaurants led to a 9.8% decrease in sales through the traditional trade channel (small stores).
Key brands of the our company have demonstrated the sales volumes growth in 2021. The flagship brand Xırdalan showed a strong growth (+3%), primarily due to the redesign in 2020, as well as improved coverage in the HoReCa channel (hotels, restaurants, cafes). Kuler, a brand for consumers who are looking for unconditional novelty in classic beer, demonstrated amazing results (+16%), thanks to the launch of new flavor Kuler Sweet Lime, as well as activities on the beaches of Absheron and advertising campaign.
The focus on the development of alcohol-free line of “Baltika” brand with new flavors “Baltika 0 Raspberry”, “Baltika 0 Lime” and “Baltika 0 Grapefruit”, launched in 2020, allowed this category to grow by 31% in the company portfolio. Premium brands from the Carlsberg Group's global portfolio - the legendary Danish lager Carlsberg and one of the leading French brands - Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, distributed in the major cities of the country, increased sales by 57% and 49%, respectively. However, some of the company's brands showed a negative trend compared to 2020: Efsane - 16%, Tuborg - 19%.
Localization of raw materials and supplies
In order to reduce import dependence, our company pays great attention to the localization of raw materials and supplies used in the brewing industry. In September 2021, Carlsberg Azerbaijan brewed the first Xırdalan beer using Azerbaijani barley. The barley localization project was launched in 2019 jointly with the AzərŞəkər company, and in 2022-2023 it is planned to completely switch the production to local barley. In 2021 the company began using locally produced labels and is currently negotiating with local producers of bottles and PET packaging.
During the last several years Carlsberg Azerbaijan demonstrates significant progress in implementation of the Carlsberg Group long-term sustainable development program Together Towards ZERO. Since 2015, the company has managed to reduce specific water consumption in production by 26.7%, heat energy by 27.1% and CO2 emissions by 16.2%. In 2021, 10% of the company's refrigeration equipment at sales points was replaced with environmentally friendly equipment that functions on refrigerant, which does not pollute the environment.
In 2021, Carlsberg Azerbaijan laid the foundation for a long-term partnership with the “ASAN volunteers” organization to promote responsible drinking with a focus on sober driving. As part of this cooperation, enlightenment works and surveys will be conducted among the residents of Baku, Ganja, Sumgayit, Barda and Guba, as well as in the digital environment, to monitor the annual increase in awareness in the country.
Our company continued partnership with the global Coastal Cleanup initiative together with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan Republic, Coca-Cola, “ASAN Volunteers” organization and other representatives of the business environment. Within the frames of this campaign, more than 6.5 tons of waste were collected from 25 hectares of Absheron beach areas.
On January 1, 2022, Alius Antulis was appointed managing director of Carlsberg Azerbaijan, replacing Vyacheslav Maltsev, who occupied this position during the last 4.5 years.
“I will do my best to ensure that during my leadership, the company is able to consolidate the success of recent years and reach even greater heights. I am very glad that the business environment in Azerbaijan is extremely favorable, and the State authorities are open to dialogue and cooperation. In 2022, we will continue to invest in the product quality, the brands development and the beer market in the country. We are looking forward to treat our consumers with interesting novelties within the company's alcoholic and non-alcoholic portfolio. I believe that in 2022, the Carlsberg Azerbaijan will contribute to the development of the industry and the non-oil sector of the country through well-coordinated teamwork of its professionals”, said Alius Antulis.