Brewing giant Carlsberg has cut its full-year profit forecast after seeing beer sales in the UK slump during the first half.
The Danish group, which joined forces with Dutch rival Heineken in 2008 to break up Scottish & Newcastle, said UK beer volumes sank 6 per cent in the first six months of the year, compared with a decline of 4 per cent for the overall market.
Carlsberg, which sponsors the English Premier League, blamed tough comparisons with last year, when demand was lifted by more favourable weather and the World Cup in Brazil.
Group operating profits for the six months to 30 June fell 12 per cent to 3.6 billion Danish kroner (£338m), and the brewer warned full-year earnings were now expected to decline “slightly”, having previously predicted a rise of close to 10 per cent.
The firm added that it does not expect “the strong Asian performance will be enough to offset the weaker-than-expected results in western Europe”.