Heineken sales in acquisitions boost

HEINEKEN said yesterday it will raise its advertising spending this year as it reported a 22 per cent increase in first-quarter sales.

Net profit was €151m (£133.5m) at the world’s second largest brewer.

It said sales grew 22 per cent to €3.59bn from a year ago, mostly due to the company’s acquisition of Dos Equis and other brands from Mexico’s FEMSA. Operating profit was also boosted 20 per cent by the Dos Equis purchase.

Comparing like-for-like, sales were up 3.6 per cent, Heineken said, as it sold larger volumes of beer despite lower prices in its wholesale business.

The company said its brewing costs were in line with expectations despite the sharp rise in grain prices. Volumes were down in Greece and Spain.