The Danish brewer Carlsberg A/S saw a weak first quarter recover in the second as consumer confidence returned with the end to the Iraq war and the SARS outbreak.

In a statement the company said: "As in Q1, the first part of Q2 was characterised by reluctance in consumers' propensity to spend due to the overall economic uncertainty and the decline in the currency rates.

"However, the conclusion of the war in Iraq at the end of Q2 and the reduced fear of SARS, especially in Asia, led to increased consumer confidence and positive sales developments in June and July.

Overall in the first half Carlsberg saw beer volumes rise by 3%. However, operating profit (EBITA) amounted to DKK1,248m falling against the DKK1,814m in the same period last year. Profit before goodwill also fell to DKK 687m against DKK 943m last year.

Beer volumes reached 39.5m hl and soft drinks 10.3m hl for the first half-year.