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Cost savings boost Carlsberg profits

Published:  05 August, 2009

Improved efficiencies helped Danish brewer Carlsberg post a 26% increase in like-for-like operating profit in the first six months of 2009.

Acquisitions boosted beer volumes by a fifth, though organic beer sales dropped by 5%.

There was high single digit growth in Asia but declining beer sales in eastern, northern and western Europe.

The company said it held market share in northern and western Europe, the operating region covering the UK.

Operating margins from 13% to 15% after price increase in 2008 and early 2009 aimed at adding value in key markets.

Chief executive officer Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen said: "We entered the year with a strong focus on sustainable efficiency improvements based on expected challenging markets.

"Numerous actions have been taken an we are pleased with the strong earnings and cash flow performances for the first six months.

"We are on track to deliver on our targets without compromising Carlsberg's ambitions of growing our brands and delivering continuous profit growth."

Operating profit for the six months to June 30 was DKK4,443 million (£145.3 million) against DKK3,538 million (£115.7 million) in 2008.