Orkla ASA, the Norwegian beer-to-media company, today announced a rise in Q3 earnings thanks to strong drink sales. The group saw earnings rise by 14% and forecast higher profits this year in foods, household goods and drinks.

Overall EBITA for the group climbed to 1.23 billion crowns from 1.07 billion in the July-to September quarter last year. Sales for the quarter grew to 11.77 billion crowns from 10.55 billion.

The group's biggest unit, Orkla Beverages, reported a rise in Q3 earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) to 660 million crowns (US$91.2m) against 533 million year-on-year. This beat an average analyst forecast of 642 million.

Orkla owns 40% of Carlsberg Breweries, the remainder being held by Carlsberg in Denmark. Carlsberg Breweries guided earnings expectations lower, however, warning that annual operating profit before goodwill amortisation would be around 5% lower than in 2002.