Carlsberg announced that the group is going to invest €100 million in their Kronenbourg brewery in Obernay (Alsace), during the State visit of President Emmanuel Macron and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire to Denmark at the end of August. This project is intended to increase the sales and production of their subsidiary in steady growth in France.
A strategical investment to modernize and foster innovation
This investment in the French subsidiary of Carlsberg is the largest for this site since the acquisition of the Alsatian brewery in 2008 by the Danish group. As a reminder, Kronenbourg has injected €23 million this year for routine maintenance, and in 2014, Carlsberg had invested €18 million in the construction of its global innovation and development center. This new investment will help to modernize the site and increase its production capacity which is currently 7 million hectoliters per year.
This announcement is part of the strategy SAIL 22 that Carlsberg group has launched with two objectives. The first one is to strengthen the position of France in its strategy and support the growth of the domestic market whose consumption has been steadily increasing for five years: + 2.7% in volume and + 8% in value for large retailers in 2017 according to the association Brasseurs de France. And the trend continues in 2018 since beer sales also increased by 3.6% in volume and 8% in value between January and February. The second objective is to increase the volumes dedicated to export the successful brands Kronenbourg and 1664 and use France as a strategic export hub.
“We are very happy to make this announcement (...). Today, Carlsberg's rich heritage and close ties with France are in perfectly aligned with our ambitions to invest in our French operations”, said the CEO of the group, Cees’t Hart.
A series of reforms to encourage foreign investors to choose France
Beyond the internal strategic choices, the decision of Carlsberg to deepen its investments in France may be related to a series of reforms engaged by the government of Emmanuel Macron. During his State visit in Denmark accompanied by the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire, the French President shared the inspiration he draws from the Nordic countries, especially the Danish flexicurity, and delivered a compelling message on its pro-business strategy which can be summarized in 3 points:
- He reaffirmed the government’s goal of creating incentives on capital investments through a simplification and decrease of taxes on capital gains.
- This new tax policy will be accompanied with the overhauling of vocational training and apprenticeship.
- The social dialogue is being reinvigorated by labor law reforms in small and medium-sized businesses.
The coming law project PACTE which will be debated in September will also be a milestone in the government strategy to empower businesses to innovate, transform, grow and create jobs.