## Abstract

The objective of this thesis is to determine the optimal capital structure of Carlsberg in relation to profitability, creditworthiness and risk in the period 2011-2015. This is determined by analyses of the historic capital structure of Carlsberg compared to profitability, creditworthiness and risk. The analyses are compared to a peer-group analysis to expose relations between Carlsberg’s choice of capital structure and the average capital structure in the brewing industry.

The analyses are supported by sensitivity analyses which examine the effect of changes in capital structure on profitability, creditworthiness and risk. On basis of the sensitivity analyses the optimal capital structure for Carlsberg, and also for the brewing industry in general, is decided. Furthermore, it is examined whether Carlsberg’s optimal capital structure is attributable to the brewing industry or to the company’s characteristics.

This thesis concludes that changes in capital structure have a large effect on creditworthiness and risk but a lesser effect on profitability. In terms of creditworthiness, a high equity financing is preferred, since large financial liabilities increase the bankruptcy and liquidity risk. With regards to profitability a high debt financing is preferred, since leverage increases profitability if the company has profitable key ratios. The risk perspective includes market risk premiums, risk-free interest rates and the interest tax-shield, according to which the minimum risk often will be situated at the minimum point on a convex curve. Therefore, a compromise has to be made between profitability, creditworthiness and risk, when the optimal capital structure is determined. The optimal capital structure for Carlsberg in the period 2011-2015 is found to be 30-50% debt, which approximately corresponds to the level of Carlsberg’s historic capital structure.

The optimal capital structure of the peer-group is 40-50% debt, and thus indicates a general level of optimal capital structure in the brewing industry. This is supported by the analysis of two businesses comparable to Carlsberg, Pandora and Orkla, whose optimal capital structure differs considerably from Carlsberg’s. Thus, the level of optimal capital structure for Carlsberg is attributable to the brewing industry, and a general level of optimal capital structure exists in the brewing industry

Educations | MSc in Finance and Accounting, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis |
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Language | Danish |

Publication date | 2017 |

Number of pages | 312 |