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Saturday April 27, 2013

Smooth transition at Carlsberg

By LEONG HUNG YEE
hungyee@thestar.com.my


From left: Carlsberg Brewery chief financial officer Lew Yoong Fah, Lim and Ravn. Lim assures that Ravn and Andersen would be working closely to ensure a smooth transition and handover in Malaysia and Singapore over the next few months. From left: Carlsberg Brewery chief financial officer Lew Yoong Fah, Lim and Ravn. Lim assures that Ravn and Andersen would be working closely to ensure a smooth transition and handover in Malaysia and Singapore over the next few months.

PETALING JAYA: Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd will ensure a smooth leadership transition in light of Henrik Juel Andersen's appointment as the new managing director, effective July 1.

On Wednesday, Carlsberg announced that it had appointed Andersen to oversee the Malaysian and Singaporean operations, succeeding Soren Ravn who has been appointed chief executive officer of Carlsberg Greater China effective July 1 as well.

Andersen, 46, is currently the regional CEO of Carlsberg Indochina, a position he has held for the past five years.

“It is great to leave a company when it is showing good results like now. The transition has already begun,” Ravn said in his last press conference after the company's AGM.

“I've already started copying Andersen in emails to keep him in the loop. He will be here soon and will be at the next board meeting in May. Meanwhile, I will be travelling back and forth in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition,” he said.

Ravn, who will be based in Hong Kong from July, does not foresee major changes in the company with Andersen coming on board, and sees his successor focusing on implementing and executing the planned initiatives. “He may be even more demanding than me.”

Carlsberg Malaysia chairman Datuk Lim Say Chong assured that Ravn and Andersen would be working closely to ensure a smooth transition and handover in Malaysia and Singapore over the next few months.

He said the company had had a good shareholders' meeting, with shareholders happy with the company thus far under the helm of Ravn. “Shareholders are pleased with Carlsberg Malaysia's share price.”

Carlsberg Malaysia closed 18 sen, or 1.22%, higher at RM14.98 yesterday.

“We take note of that,” Lim replied to shareholders when asked if the company would be planning any corporate exercises such as a bonus issue during the AGM.

Meanwhile, Ravn said Carlsberg Malaysia had had a great year in 2012, although the local beer market was relatively flat with a low single-digit growth.

For the full financial year ended Dec 31, 2012, Carlsberg made a net profit of RM191.6mil, 15.3% higher than the RM166.1mil posted a year ago. Its revenue for the full year rose to RM1.58bil against RM1.48bil in the same period a year ago.

“We launched Somersby in July 2012 and it has been creating an impact in the market. It is now the fastest growing cider,” Ravn said, adding that the group's premium segment has been growing very fast and commanding a commendable market share.

The group's premium brand portfolio includes Asahi Super Dry, Kronenbourg and Somersby Apple Cider.

Ravn said Carlsberg Malaysia would not be introducing any new beer for now and would concentrate on the existing brands so as not to dilute its market.

On another note, Carlsberg has entered into a three-year accord to become the official beer partner of the Barclays Premier League. The partnership kicks off in August.

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