Strategic and Financial Valuation of Carlsberg A/S: Assessment of Future Strategic Options to Increase Value and Improve Market Position

Erik Kenyon Mikaelsen & Nils Frederik Selvang

Student thesis: Master thesis


The main aim of the thesis is to estimate the intrinsic value of Carlsberg’s share price as of 7.02.2018, the date their latest annual report (2017) was released. The share price is estimated through a DCF and EVA valuation based on forecast assumptions made through an internal and external strategic and financial analysis of Carlsberg, and the brewing industry. Where the realised results are analysed in comparison to a similar selected peer group. Furthermore, two different strategic scenarios have been constructed to investigate what effects different strategic changes would have on Carlsberg’s value. The beer industry has faced significant challenges in the last decade, with falling consumer demands, volumes, and increasing competition. Contrary, revenues in the industry have been increasing. Where Carlsberg is the fourth largest brewing organisation in the world, as of 2016, with a 6% market share. However, have since 2012 shown a decline in growth and revenues. Where the main reason is related to increasing taxes and political issues in the Russian market, resulting in high impairment of brand losses. Measures to adapt to the changing market conditions and poor performance where taken in 2015, when Carlsberg had a change of management and launched a new strategy (SAIL ‘22). The strategic and financial analysis further highlighted Carlsberg’s poor performance relative to its peers, but also uncovered improving trends in certain financial value drivers, due to strategic changes. Based on the analysis, and a WACC of 6,135%, Carlsberg is estimated to have an enterprise value of 158,081bn DKK, resulting in an estimated share price of 876,66DKK. A share price that would yield a potential upside of 22,61% from the actual share price on 7.02.2018 (715DKK). Furthermore, the relative valuation shows that Carlsberg’s shares are currently being traded at a discount compared to its peers. Either because the analysts are being too pessimistic in their assumptions, or that Carlsberg is subjected to higher risk, and therefore should be traded at a lower value. The two scenarios, of a potential growth in the Asian market, and improving core operations relative to the peer group average, provided substantial different results. The difference scenarios showed that Carlsberg would increase its value more by focusing on optimising and reducing costs in their core operations, to the level of its peers, relatively to pursuing a market growth in Asia. Strengthening core operations would result in less risks and investments, with higher short term upside potential, based on their current market position. In perspective it would be interesting to further investigate the questionable changes in the capital structure, as it could be speculated that Carlsberg where to reduce debt to finance future investments.

EducationsMSc in Accounting, Strategy and Control, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages172