Carlsberg has posted a strong lift in its performance in the first half of this year. The Danish brewer today (8 August) posted an impressive 31% leap in operating profit for the six months to the end of June, totalling DKK2.26bn (US$418.1m), with progress being reported in Western and Eastern Europe, and through its Russia-focused joint venture Baltic Beverages Holding.

The increase came on the back of a 12% rise in net sales for the period, to DKK21.5bn.

In volume terms, beer sales in the first half were up 17% on a year earlier, to 39.8m hectolitres - only 1% of this growth came from acquisitions, the company said.

Regionally, Western Europe offered a 3% rise in volume sales, although BBH saw volumes climb by a more impressive 33%. In Eastern Europe - excluding BBH - volumes were up by 15%, while Asia delivered an increase of 29%.

Moving forward, the brewer raised its full-year outlook for operating profit to the region of DKK 5bn, up from its previous estimate of DKK4.7bn.

Speaking to just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Carlsberg said: "We are very happy with developments in the half - growth came from all over the world. We have worked on alot of programmes in Western Europe to improve our business in Western Europe, and we are now reaping the benefits of these."

When asked abut the performance of BBH, the spokesperson said: "We still expect Russia and Eastern Europe to continue its strong performance going forward." He declined, however, to give specific details on what Carlsberg intended to do in the region in the near future. "Tuborg is now bigger in Russia than it is in Denmark," he noted.