Carlsberg has said that its net profit in 2012 grew 6% year-on-year to 5.5 billion kroner, slightly more than forecasted.

The Denmark-based brewing group said annual sales increased 3% to 67.2 billion kroner despite a sluggish beer market in Western Europe.

Europe accounts for 42% of the group's sales by volume.

Carlsberg said in a statement that the group managed to gain lost momentum in the key Russian market in the fourth quarter. It said that by the end of 2012 it accounted for 38.3% of the country's total beer sales.

The company also said that its aggressive expansion drive in Asia last year was successful, with sales in the region jumping 9% and revenue growth reaching 19%.