Danish brewer Carlsberg on Wednesday reported third-quarter sales broadly in line with expectations and lifted its profit forecast for the year despite weakening consumer sentiment.
The world's third-biggest brewer said revenue in the quarter rose 14% to 20.2 billion Danish crowns ($2.72 billion) on the back of strong Asia sales, compared with the 20.3 billion forecast by analysts in a poll compiled by the company.
Sales in Asia grew 19% in the period, with volumes up 10%, but the firm cautioned that the outlook remained uncertain.
"The business environment remains challenging, with an uncertain macro situation, very high inflation and weakening consumer sentiment," Cees 't Hart, chief executive said in a statement.
Signs Of Slowdown
Heineken the world's second-largest brewer, said on Wednesday it had seen signs of slowdown in demand for its beer in some European markets over recent weeks, after its third-quarter sales rose by less than expected.
Carlsberg's shares were down 2.5% at 1222 GMT, recouping much of its losses in early trading on the weak Heineken outlook.
Better Than Expected
Carlsberg lifted its outlook after a 'better-than-expected performance in many of our markets' and now expects organic profit growth of 10-12% this year, compared to a previous guidance for 'high single-digit-percentage' growth.
It also increased its share buy-back programme for the fourth quarter to 1.5 billion crowns from 1 billion crowns in the third quarter.
The firm, which released the numbers one day earlier than planned, does not provide earnings in its third-quarter trading statements.
News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more drinks stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.