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Copenhagen — Danish brewer Carlsberg raised its full-year profit outlook on Thursday, after second-quarter sales beat forecasts on growing demand for its expensive beers in China and strong sales in Russia during the World Cup. Carlsberg, the world’s third-largest brewer behind Anheuser Busch InBev and Heineken, turned more positive on its 2018 outlook after a successful strategy to focus more on premium beers, especially in China, in the first half of the year. The company now expects operating profit to grow by high-single-digits in percentage terms in 2018. It had previously forecast growth in mid-single-digits. Shares in Carlsberg were trading about 4% higher, outperforming a 1.2% rise in Denmark’s benchmark index.

"There’s more than good weather to these results. What lifts the earnings is that they’ve sold more expensive beers. They have really good growth in premium, craft and nonalcoholic beers, which is very positive," Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard said. The group’s ...

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