Carlsberg cheers Asian demand for beer as sales beat forecasts

CARLSBERG sees no sign of slowing growth in Asia after a 13 per cent rise in revenue in the region helped the world’s fourth-biggest brewer beat profit forecasts.

The Danish company said sales in Asia accounted for nearly 20 per cent of group revenue in the quarter, approaching eastern Europe sales of 22 per cent, and cushioning sluggish mature European markets and a decline in former growth driver, Russia.

Companies ranging from brewers to carmakers and luxury fashion labels have pinned their hopes on Asia's growing middle classes to offset weak demand in Europe and the US.

But with the world’s second largest economy, China, slowing, investors question how long and how well demand will hold up.

“I see no reason that the picture from 2012 should change significantly in 2013,” chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen said.

Net profit was 62m Danish krona (£7m), exceeding analysts’ average forecast. Sales also beat forecasts by rising three per cent to 13.3bn krona.