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Carlsberg is targeting profit growth in the mid-single-digits and plans to reduce debt in 2017, having ruled off on a “good year” in 2016.

The Danish brewer reported a net profit of Dkk4.86bn ($696.77m) in the 12 months to December 31 compared to a loss of Dkk2.58bn in 2015 that had been weighed down by special items.

Operating profit growth of 5 per cent was in line with expectations, which had been revised in November from forecasts for low-single-digit growth.

The company expects, based on spot rates as at February 6, to benefit from a Dkk350m translation impact owing to currency movements.

Cees ‘t Hart, Carlsberg’s chief executive, said 2016 was “a good year” for the company and that “We’re satisfied with our performance and the delivery of 5 per cent organic growth in operating profit, a solid price/mix, strong cash flow and a further reduction in financial leverage.”

“In 2017, we’re determined to achieve a substantial proportion of the remaining Funding the Journey benefits, allowing us to grow earnings organically and invest in SAIL’22-related activities to support the future growth of the company,” he said in reference to Carlsberg’s long-term business strategy that was launched last year.

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