COPENHAGEN Feb 19 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)