Comparative Analysis of Carlsberg and Royal Unibrew

Dorte Kruchov Stausholm

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of the thesis is to prepare a comparative analysis of Carlsberg and Royal Unibrew based on a comparison of the two companies' chosen strategies for 2014-2018 to analyze the financial statements in the annual reports thoroughly. The numerical dataset will only be publicly available material, as I believe it is sufficient to cover the comparison and conclusion in the thesis. The main problem to be investigated is
”What strategic factors play a significant role in the economic development of Carlsberg and Royal Unibrew during the period 2014-2018?”
For Carlsberg, it has been of significant importance that they have chosen a strategy of establishing themselves in the Russian market, which during the period financially has not had a positive effect on the company's development. They continue to maintain the strategy of being present in the market, but have no ambitions to grow through further acquisitions, but would like to return to previous years' levels.
In addition, Carlsberg's strategy of establishing in Asia has also had a significant impact during the period, as it has resulted in some major one-off costs for write-downs of brands and restructuring costs. However, it is a market that has good opportunities for growth for Carlsberg, as it is a very large market with economic potential and they are already established, but the local and political conditions in China may be a challenge for them.
Carlsberg's relatively high cost compared to Royal Unibrews is also a factor that influences the company's economic development, as they have high costs for production in particular, so that the gross profit percentage is lower.
Royal Unibrew's strategy to grow organically and continue to be a locally rooted market may seem prudent, but during the period the strategy has had a significant impact on financial results and they have achieved organic growth in sales of 9%, so it has been a significant factor for their company.
Carlsberg has undoubtedly had a significantly higher ambition to grow through acquisitions and be represented in many markets globally, where Royal Unibrew wants to be a locally rooted market and thereby chosen to grow in existing markets to a more modest extent than Carlsberg.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages98