Heineken posts 34% rise in profits

HeinekenHeineken, the Dutch brewer, has reported a rise in profit of 34% in the six months to the end of June. Increased profits have been buoyed by raising its prices and its acquisition of Foster’s and Strongbow brands from the break-up of Scottish & Newcastle.

The brewer says net profits in the period were up to €407m (£324m) from €302m (£241m) a year earlier. Sales were up by 17% to €5.48bn (£4.4bn). It raised its prices in Western Europe – its biggest market – by 4% in the first half of the year, to recoup higher expenses for barley, aluminium and energy.

Heineken and Denmark’s Carlsberg bought Scottish & Newcastle for £7.8bn in a joint deal in April this year. Heineken then took control of Scottish & Newcastle’s UK operations.

Heineken said last week that the Scottish & Newcastle split would not necessarily boost earnings per share in 2009, due to a fall in consumer confidence and rising interest rates.

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