Australian brewer Lion Nathan has raised its 2009 outlook, despite "volatile" economic conditions and a "challenging" financial year.

The company said this morning (18 November) that it remains confident of an "earnings step up" in the new financial year and that it now expects a net profit of between A$300m (US$193.9m) and A$315m.

Lion Nathan posted a 4.2% increase in operating net profit after tax (NPAT) to A$278.3m for the twelve months to 30 September, attributing the rise to growth at the company's Australia, New Zealand and Wine divisions.

The result was also fuelled by the success of recent new products and increased brand investment, said the group, which is a subsidiary of Japan's Kirin Holdings.

Net profit after tax fell 3.3% to A$272.7m, due to a one-off charge related to the group's acquisition of J Boag & Son.

The firm said that the Boag's business beat forecast earnings of A$10m by more than 10%.

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) yesterday rejected a near A$8bn bid from Lion Nathan, following opposition to the deal from The Coca-Cola Company.

Lion Nathan has refused to back down, and today issued more details of its offer for CCA.