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Carlsberg slashes 2015 earnings forecast as Russia, Ukraine weigh on second-quarter results

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish brewer Carlsberg has lowered its full-year earnings forecast after declining beer sales in Russia and Ukraine hurt second-quarter profits.

Carlsberg, which had previously forecast single-digit growth in operating profit in 2015, said Wednesday it now expects a slight decline, citing "challenging market conditions" in Eastern Europe and weaker-than-expected results in Western Europe.

It said the beer market declined 9 percent in Russia and 17 percent in Ukraine, where Moscow is accused of supporting a separatist rebellion.

Western European sales fell due to bad weather and compared with a jump a year earlier drive by the World Cup.

Second-quarter net profit dropped 28 percent to 1.59 billion kroner ($236 million), while revenue fell 2 percent to 18.9 billion kroner.

Carlsberg shares fell 8 percent in early trading in Copenhagen.

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