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Carlsberg raises 2020 outlook on strong sales in China, Eastern Europe

Carlsberg beer cans are seen at a pub in Mumbai
Carlsberg beer cans are seen at a pub in Mumbai

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish brewer Carlsberg <CARLb.CO> on Thursday raised its full-year earnings expectations after positive momentum last month, buoyed by solid sales in Eastern Europe and an improved outlook in China.

The world's third-biggest brewer after Anheuser Busch InBev <ABI.BR> and Heineken <HEIN.AS> now expects a "high-single-digit percentage" fall in organic operating profit versus its previous expectation of a 10%-15% decline.

Carlsberg said the new outlook reflected "better than expected August results, continued solid volume development in Eastern Europe and an improved outlook in western China after the recent relaxation of second-wave COVID-19 restrictions."

The Copenhagen-based brewer warned last month that although drinkers had started to return to bars and restaurants in China and Western Europe over the summer, lockdowns were likely to keep sales subdued in the second half of the year.

Shares in Carlsberg traded 3.5% higher following the news. At 1243 GMT, they were up 1.5% at 883 Danish crowns, up from a March low of 650 crowns.


(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Jason Neely and Keith Weir)