Carlsberg today lifted its expectations for the full year after posting a better-than-expected beer sales in the third quarter.
The Danish brewer said it now expected operating profit to decline by a mid-single-digit percentage, compared to previous guidance of a high-single-digit percentage.
It came after the company posted a 2.4 per cent rise in total organic volume in the three months to the end of September, boosted by strong sales in Russia and China.
Carlsberg, which is the world’s third-largest brewer and owns brands including Kronenbourg, Tuborg and Somersby, said it had also benefited from cost-cutting measures.
Beer sales have tumbled during the coronavirus pandemic due to widespread closures of bars and restaurants, though the lifting of some restrictions over the summer helped spark a partial rebound.
Carlsberg’s performance was also driven by strong performance for craft and specialty brews, as well as its alcohol-free line.
Overall, the brewer reported revenue of 17.3bn Danish krona (£2.1bn) over the period, down 6.8 per cent on last year.
Carlsberg also warned it was facing “an increasing level of pressure in the coming quarters” amid a fresh spike in coronavirus infections.
“The pandemic remains a concern for us, impacting our people, our customers and our businesses in many of our markets,” said chief executive Cees ‘t Hart.
“Consequently, we’re continuing to adapt our organisation, processes and structures to a new market reality, including changed consumer preferences and a temporarily reduced level of on-trade activity.”