July 31, 2017 / 5:21 AM / a year ago

Heineken profit beats expectations on strong Europe

BRUSSELS, July 31 (Reuters) - Heineken, the world’s second-largest beer maker, reported a higher than expected operating profit in the first six months of 2017 as a late Easter and warm weather in key parts of Europe boosted its sales.

The Dutch brewer of Europe’s top-selling lager Heineken, as well as Tiger and Sol, said volumes, revenue and profits grew on a like-for-like basis in all four of its regions, with turnarounds from weak first quarters in Africa and the Americas.

The company said on Monday that it continued to expect revenue and profit growth this year.

It stuck to its target of a 0.4 percentage point improvement in operating margin per year, albeit excluding its acquisitions of the Brazilian business of Japan’s Kirin and U.S. craft brewer Lagunitas and its planned purchase of most of the pubs of Britain’s Punch Taverns. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)

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