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Carlsberg posts higher profit, upgrades outlook

COPENHAGEN (AP) — Danish brewer Carlsberg A/S on Tuesday said third-quarter profits rose 30 percent, as warm weather boosted sales in northern and eastern Europe, and lifted its full-year earnings outlook slightly.

The report showed a quarterly net profit of 1.95 billion kroner ($364 million), up from the 1.5 billion kroner recorded in the same period last year.

Carlsberg, whose beer brands include Tuborg, Baltika and Kronenbourg, posted revenues of 17.7 billion kroner, up from 16.4 billion kroner a year earlier. Beer sales volumes grew by 3 percent.

The group said it expected operating profit for 2010 “at more than 10 billion kroner ($1.9 billion).” Carlsberg earlier had said it expected operating profit “at around 10 billion kroner.”

The company, based in Copenhagen, cited “a slightly more positive development in the Russian market conditions than previously anticipated.”

However, Carlsberg shares dropped 4.7 percent to 567 kroner ($105.95), on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard explained the drop by saying the improved outlook was “a little too conservative.”

Chief Executive Joergen Buhl Rasmussen said Carlsberg noted signs of recovery in eastern Europe but market conditions “remain challenging” in several northern and western European countries.

“Looking forward, we will be impacted by rising input costs and will therefore have to increase sales prices,” Buhl Rasmussen said in a statement.

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