Carlsberg expects operating profit growth to slow this year

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COPENHAGEN, February 4 (Reuters)Danish brewer Carlsberg CARLb.CO expects organic operating profit growth to be below last year’s level, he said on Friday after posting fourth-quarter sales that beat expectations.

Carlsberg said organic operating profit is expected to grow 0-7% in 2022, from 12.5% ​​growth last year, citing higher costs and continued coronavirus restrictions.

“We are very pleased with the group’s performance in 2021. Although our business has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, we have delivered strong revenue and profit growth and free cash flow,” said general manager Cees ‘t Hart in a statement.

“Significantly higher input costs and the continued impact of COVID-19 will pose challenges in 2022, but we are well prepared.”

The world’s third-largest brewer said fourth-quarter sales reached 15.2 billion Danish kroner ($2.34 billion), compared with 14.7 billion kroner estimated by analysts in a company survey.

($1 = 6.4918 Danish kroner)

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen editing by David Goodman)

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