Carlsberg A/S has had its rating raised. British brokerage research firm Cazenove Equities has moved its rating for the Danish company to "buy" from "long-term buy," citing growth prospects and the brewer's new leaner structure.

In a research note released late last week, Cazenove beverages analyst Sandy Soames said: "We see Carlsberg as a 'special situation' stock that should trade at a premium to the European brewing peer group." Soames also said that his six-month price target was DKK370, while his three-year target was at least DKK500 and possibly over DKK600.

The research firm said that it saw the brewer delivering organic pre-financials (EBIT) growth of up to 55% over the next five years, driven primarily by a cost reduction programme in Western Europe. Cazenove also pointed to Carlsberg's recent buyout of Orkla's 40% stake in its brewery unit as a potential attraction for investment.