Carlsberg's Q4 operating profit rises on Asian growth

COPENHAGEN Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:15am EST

COPENHAGEN Feb 19 (Reuters) - Carlsberg's operating profit rose 8 percent in the fourth quarter as improved margins in Western Europe and continued Asian growth offset sluggish sales in Eastern Europe.

At 2.32 billion Danish crowns ($427.5 million) earnings before interest, tax and special items beat the 2.18 billion expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.

For 2014 the Danish brewer, the world's fourth largest, expects to deliver high-single-digit organic operating profit growth and mid-single-digit growth in its reported adjusted net income.

For 2013, Carlsberg proposed a 33 percent increase in its dividend to 8 crowns per share.

($1 = 5.4264 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Teis Jensen and Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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