Heineken posts profit increase thanks to warm weather

Strong demand for Heineken 0.0 a new zero-alcohol beer proved a bright spot for the business

Strong demand for Heineken 0.0 a new zero-alcohol beer proved a bright spot for the business

Heineken NV's beer sales in Europe are up-but the extra drink isn't going to customers' heads.

The Dutch brewer, whose brands include Heineken, Tiger and Amstel, released its half year results for 2017 on Monday, reporting a 5.7% year-on-year increase in organic revenues to €10.47bn in the six months to the end of June, outperforming analysts forecasts of a 4.1% uplift. The company said its full-year expectations, including further organic revenue and profit growth, remain unchanged. In the first half of 2016, Heineken's net profit halved due to write-offs in Congo.

The brewer attributed this uplift to "Easter timing, good weather particularly in Europe and easier comparatives than in the first quarter".

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Chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said in a statement: "We delivered strong results in the first half year, with all four regions contributing positively to organic growth in volume, revenue and operating profit".

Total beer volumes in Europe rose by 1.9% to 39 million hectolitres (mhl) for the half year, while Asia Pacific increased by 6.3% to 12.6 mhl and the Americas lifted by 2.8% to 30.4 mhl.

Asia Pacific and the Americas had reported most growth, with Europe, Africa and the Middle East also up.

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The company, which took over Punch Taverns for £403 million in December, offered to sell 33 United Kingdom pubs last month to get the green light from the regulator.

Heineken sealed a takeover last December with private equity firm Patron Capital, having fought off a rival bid from the pub chain's co-founder Alan McIntosh with a 180p-per-share offer. Heineken has bid for 1,900 pubs from Punch Taverns in the United Kingdom and is doubling down on investment in Africa, having opened a brewery in Ivory Coast this year and expanded operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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