Carlsberg lifts profit view as beer sales recover in Europe and China

Carlsberg lifts profit view as beer sales recover in Europe and China
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COPENHAGEN (Oct 27): Danish brewer Carlsberg raised its full-year profit guidance on Wednesday after reporting third-quarter revenue slightly above expectations, helped by a recovery of beer sales in Europe and China.

The world's third-largest brewer now expects operating profit to grow by between 10% and 12% this year, up from 8%-11% previously.

"We're satisfied with the value and volume growth in the third quarter," Chief Executive Cees 't Hart said in a statement. "It is encouraging that many beer markets in Europe are recovering from the pandemic."

Sales in China continued a "positive trajectory", while beer markets in Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore declined due to coronavirus lockdown measures, Carlsberg said.

The announcement comes after rival Heineken reported a steeper than expected decline in third-quarter beer sales earlier on Wednesday.

The Dutch brewer said that Asia-Pacific sales were down more than a third after Covid-19 restrictions cut volumes.

Carlsberg increased organic sales by 7% in the quarter, beating analyst expectations of 6%, helped by 13% growth in Asia.

Third-quarter sales rose 14% to 19.74 billion Danish crowns (US$3.09 billion), compared with 19.31 billion forecast by analysts in a poll compiled by the company.

Shares in Carlsberg have risen 10% since the beginning of the year and were up 0.8% on the day at 1143 GMT.

The company said it would launch its fourth quarterly share buyback programme this year on Thursday, amounting to 1.25 billion crowns.

(US$1 = 6.3922 Danish crowns)