Heineken has said that efforts to get better prices for beer in the off-trade impeded its volume sales in in the first half of 2010.
The Dutch brewer reported a 17% increase in organic net profit to €621 million and said its UK business, which markets Foster’s, Strongbow and Kronenbourg 1664, “delivered strong growth driven by better pricing and significant cost reductions partly offset by higher investments in brands”.
But it added: “The lengthy price negotiations with some off-trade customers resulted in a temporary reduction of features in key promotional activities and a subsequent temporary loss of volume in the off-trade.”
Heineken said it expected full-year profits to show low double digit growth.
Group beer volumes dropped 2.5% in Western Europe as a whole in the first half, with the Heineken brand down 0.8%.