By Dhirendra Tripathi – Carlsberg (OTC:CABGY) stock (CSE:CARLa) was trading 3% higher in Copenhagen as strong beer sales in the first half as well as those of its non-alcoholic beverages drove it to raise its forecast for the year.

Most of the segments topped the 2019 consumption levels as reopening of economies in Europe brought people back to restaurants and to stadiums for Euro 2020. Hot weather in the continent added to the mix.

Carlsberg’s core beer business delivered 8% volume growth. Sales of its two key international brands – Tuborg and Carlsberg – were higher by 28% and 2% in volume terms.

Alcohol-free brews grew 26% and craft and specialty rose 21%. The company attributed higher growth in the former to increased awareness of health and well-being among consumers during the pandemic.

Total organic volume growth in the first six months of the year came in at 10%.

The Danish company now expects operating profit to grow between 8% and 11% this year, up from its previous guidance of 5%-10% growth.

CEO Cees ’t Hart warned of business still suffering in many markets, particularly in Asia due to the new wave of Covid-19 infection.

Adjusted net profit in the first six months was 3.16 billion Danish kroner ($507million), up 10%. Revenue was also 10% higher at DKK 31.68 billion.

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