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Tuborg boosts Carlsberg in Asia as rivals jockey for position

Haagen larger ,Turborg, Carlsberg Products made by Independent Liquor in New Zealandshown in a liquor store in Auckland .Independent Liquor has has been brought by Japans Asahi Holdings 14 August 2011 ,Photographer Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg News

By BLOOMBERG

LONDON • Carlsberg A/S raised its full-year profit guidance amid soaring demand for Tuborg beer in Asia.

Sales volume for the label, one of the top foreign brews in China, rose 8% in the first half (1H), the Danish company said yesterday. That gave Carlsberg a lift in one of its key markets as larger rival Heineken NV seeks an edge through its purchase of a US$3.1 billion (RM12.71 billion) stake in the country’s top beer maker, China Resources Beer Holdings Co Ltd.

The shares rose as much as 4.1%, the most in more than two years.

The Heineken deal will boost demand for premium beer in China, Carlsberg CEO Cees ‘t Hart said on a call, referring to it as a “strong competitive move”.

Net revenue from China grew 17% in 1H, led by the international brands Tuborg and Kronenbourg 1664, as well as the company’s namesake Lager.

Carlsberg is also wringing costs out of its business to weather a slowdown in beer demand in more established markets. As a result, earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items will rise by a high-single-digit percentage over the course of the year, the Copenhagen- based brewer said in a statement, up from a previous forecast of mid-single digit growth.

Earnings in 1H rose 6% to 4.37 billion kroner (RM2.12 billion), beating analyst estimate of 4.15 billion kroner.