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Copenhagen to fete Eurovision contest by marrying gay couples

By Annabella Nielsen COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The city of Copenhagen will perform wedding ceremonies for both homosexual and heterosexual couples from all around the world in the days leading up to Denmark's hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in May, the municipality said on Thursday. "We have already scheduled 20-30 couples in our calendar -both Danish and foreigners. On the first of the three days, we start with three Russian gay marriages," office manager Flemming Otto, who is in charge of the event, told Reuters.

Lego to build on movie success, tackle globalisation challenge

With record sales and a hit movie expected to propel them further, Lego could be expected to bask in its successful turnaround, but the Danish maker of colourful toy blocks is pressing ahead to face the challenges of globalisation. Last month, the world's second largest toymaker reported a nine percent rise in annual net profit to 6.12 billion kroner (820 million euros, $1.12 billion). The 10-percent increase in sales to 25.38 billion kroner marked a quadrupling in just 10 years.

Lego to build on movie success, tackle globalisation challenge

With record sales and a hit movie expected to propel them further, Lego could be expected to bask in its successful turnaround, but the Danish maker of colourful toy blocks is pressing ahead to face the challenges of globalisation. Last month, the world's second largest toymaker reported a nine percent rise in annual net profit to 6.12 billion kroner (820 million euros, $1.12 billion). The 10-percent increase in sales to 25.38 billion kroner marked a quadrupling in just 10 years.

Carlsberg to focus on Asia as demand for beer drops in Europe, Russia

COPENHAGEN - Carlsberg says it expects beer sales to fall this year in western Europe and Russia, but continue to grow in Asia. The Copenhagen-based group made the forecast Wednesday as it announced that its fourth-quarter net sales fell slightly to 15.7 billion kroner ($2.9 billion) and beer volumes dropped 3 per cent. Net profit nevertheless rose more than expected to 1.13 billion kroner from 192 million kroner a year earlier, mainly because the comparative 2012 figures included discontinued operations in Ukraine and closures in Russia.

Coalition partner quits Danish government

One of the three members of Denmark's leftist coalition quit the government on Thursday over the controversial sale of a stake in state-controlled energy group DONG to US investment bank Goldman Sachs. "We have followed this DONG case to the end," leader of the Socialist People's Party and minister for social affairs and integration, Annette Vilhelmsen, said at a press conference, where she announced her resignation from both posts.

Coalition partner quits Danish government

One of the three members of Denmark's leftist coalition quit the government on Thursday over the controversial sale of a stake in state-controlled energy group DONG to US investment bank Goldman Sachs. "We have followed this DONG case to the end," leader of the Socialist People's Party and minister for social affairs and integration, Annette Vilhelmsen, said at a press conference, where she announced her resignation from both posts.

Carlsberg continues Asia push with Chinese acquisition

Danish brewer Carlsberg said on Monday it had bought the owner of eight Chinese breweries for 1.4 billion kroner (188 million euros, $258 million) as it continues to grow outside the sluggish markets of western Europe. "Chongqing Beer Group has informed the Carlsberg Group that it has accepted Carlsberg's offer to acquire 100 percent of Chongqing Beer Group Assets Management," the Danish company said in a statement.

Amid austerity and debt, Denmark remains happiest nation

They are the most indebted people in the world, live through long, dark winters and have a shorter life expectancy than several Mediterranean countries. Yet for the past four decades, the Danes have consistently rated themselves as the happiest people on earth. Among foreigners in Denmark, theories as to why the host population is so content range from its egalitarian policies to its history to grumblings that some people are simply easier to satisfy than others.

Carlsberg owner may lower stake to facilitate growth

Danish brewer Carlsberg said on Friday its largest shareholder would soon be able to reduce its holding in the company so that the group could pursue takeovers more easily. The Carlsberg Foundation wants to change its charter so that it no longer has to own more than 25 percent of the company, while continuing to hold at least 51 percent of the voting rights, the Copenhagen-based brewer said.

Lego sales rise on Asia growth, now 2nd biggest toymaker

Danish toy maker Lego on Thursday reported an 18-percent rise in first-half net profit as revenue grew 13 percent, fuelled by growth in Asia as developed markets stalled. Lego, now the world's second-biggest toy manufacturer behind Mattel of the US, said its largest markets North America, Europe and Japan had experienced a slow start to the year. "Despite this tough dynamic, our data indicates that consumer sales of Lego products for the first half of 2013 grew nine percent globally," chief executive Joergen Vig Knudstorp said in a statement.
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