Danish brewing giant Carlsberg has said it will focus on innovation to boost its sales in the UK this year.

Carlsberg, which is the fourth-largest brewer in the UK, has seen sales in the country stagnate amid fierce competition and flat beer consumption.

Reports in the UK last weekend suggested that the brewer was on the look-out for acquisitions to bolster its position in what is a mature market.

However, a Carlsberg spokesman in Copenhagen played down the reports. "There are no concrete plans for buying assets in the UK," he told just-drinks today (2 January).

The spokesman said Carlsberg would look to introduce new products into the UK market in the coming months. "We are always trying to be innovative and while we would never talk about our products before they were launched, you can be sure there will be more innovation from Carlsberg in the UK."

Last year, Carlsberg launched Carlsberg Edge a citrus-infused beer aimed at young, female drinkers.

The spokesman added the brewer would continue to look at ways to make its UK operations more efficient. Last year, some 26 jobs were lost from Carlsberg's UK operations as the brewer outsourced a number of accounting functions across Europe.