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Heineken increases profits despite “challenging” markets in Europe and US

Heineken NV, the family-owned brewer, announced a higher than expected rise in first half net profits on 25 August despite a decrease in beer volume sales.

The world's third-largest brewer said net profits had increased 17% to €621 million compared with the first half of 2009, but it saw been volume sales fall by 2.3%. According to Heineken, the increase in profits is due to strong growth in Africa, Asia and Latin America, successful cost cutting measures and the integration of Mexican beer business FEMSA.

The Dutch-based business, whose brands include Heineken, Amstal and Strongbow, also said its expected full-year net-profit percentage growth to be "at lease in low double digits."

Non-family chairman Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said in a statement: "Heineken achieved strong organic net profit growth in the first half year 2010. Trading conditions remained challenging in Europe and the USA, but we realised strong group beer volume growth in Africa and Asia."

He went on to say that the Heineken brand outperformed others within the company's portfolio and that he expected continued growth to come from Latin America, Asia and Africa. But the company remained cautious about beer consumption in Europe and the US for the second half of 2010.

The Heineken family holding company, L'Arche Green NV, owns 50% of Heineken Holding NV. Fourth generation Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is ranked 103 on the Forbes billionaires list, with a fortune estimated at $7 billion. Heineken was founded in 1863 when Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought the Haystack brewery in Amsterdam and today has annual revenues of €16.7 billion.

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