Carlsberg raises guidance as beer volumes recover

Danish brewer Carlsberg raised its full-year earnings guidance on Wednesday (August 18) after reporting second-quarter sales above expectations

But severe restrictions in Asia could hit sales, the world's third-biggest brewer warned.

Beer sales in key markets China and Russia had risen to "well above" the levels they'd reached before the health crisis.

But European markets such as France, Switzerland and Sweden remained below those levels.

Chief Executive Cees 't Hart said in a statement he saw a gradual recovery in European markets, but others, particularly in Asia, remained subject to severe restrictions.

Sales between April and June reached 18.69 billion Danish crowns, or $2.94 billion, compared with a 17.97 billion crown forecast in a company-compiled poll of analysts.

Carlsberg said it now expects operating profit to grow by between 8% and 11% this year, up from its previous guidance of 5-10% growth.

Rival Heineken also beat expectations for first-half beer sales when it reported earnings this month. But it warned of rising costs and the impact of the health crisis on Asian markets.

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