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Carlsberg lifts 2022 growth outlook

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: A bar worker carries a tray of Carlsberg beer in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Danish brewer Carlsberg lifted its profit growth forecast for this year on the back of strong performances in Europe and Asia, it said on Monday.

It now expects "high single-digit-percentage organic growth in operating profit" this year. This replaces a previous guidance from April 21 of -5% to +2% operating growth.

The lift to Carlsberg's growth outlook is a positive signal despite the current squeeze on European consumers amid soaring inflation and product price hikes.

According to analysts, hot weather across Europe is likely to have helped boost sales.

"If Carlsberg did summers, then they would be very hot summers, and that has probably helped drive sales higher thus helping offset higher costs," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK. "The key test will come when the weather cools down."

Consumer demand for beverages is faring well despite the increasing pressure on shoppers as companies try to pass on soaring costs through price increases.

"Consumers are cutting back on the things they can do without or they can put off into the future, but they still want to be able to enjoy life and those little luxuries, like a beer after work," said Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell.

Carlsberg suspended production at its Ukrainian breweries after Russia's invasion in February but has since managed to ramp up at all three sites. Its full-year operating result in Ukraine will again be included in the operating profit.

(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen and Lucy Raitano in London; editing by Terje Solsvik and Grant McCool)