Carlsberg lager given £28m for relaunch

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The Independent Online

Carlsberg-Tetley, the Danish-owned brewer, has invested £28m to relaunch its flagship lager brands in an attempt to take on rival brewers Interbrew and Adolph Coors in the UK market.

Carlsberg, which has enlisted the help of the Danish supermodel Helena Christensen, wants to increase its share of the UK beer market to 20 per cent from 13 per cent.

Colin Povey, the chief executive of the UK arm, said last year's corporate shake-out – which saw Interbrew sell off Carling Brewers to Coors of the US to satisfy regulatory concerns – prompted the marketing drive.

Carlsberg, which is Britain's fourth-biggest brewer behind Interbrew, Coors and Scottish & Newcastle, wants to improve the image of Carlsberg Export, its higher-margin premium lager, to persuade drinkers to switch from Stella Artois and Kronenbourg 1664. "The marketplace is very competitive. We need to invest for the long term in brand values," Mr Povey said.

The relaunch followed last year's 11 per cent rise in sales of Carlsberg's two core brands in a UK beer market that grew by 2 per cent. Carlsberg Export increased sales by 30 per cent.

Mr Povey said the brewer was talking to rival brewers and specialist logistics groups about linking up its distribution business. However, he denied market rumours that Carlsberg could merge its UK operations with Interbrew.