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Heineken sales rebound as hospitality reopening sparks beer demand

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Heineken has become the latest drinks giant to post soaring sales amid the reopening of pubs and bars following pandemic lockdown measures.

However, the Dutch brewing company also struck a cautious tone with investors as it warned it could be impacted by higher inflationary pressures for the rest of the year.

It came as the group, which also owns the Birra Moretti and Amstel beer brands, said net revenues increased by 14.1% to 9.97 billion euros (£8.5 billion) for the six months to June.

The firm said its organic operating profits more than doubled over the period.

However, it also said it still expects its results for the full financial year 2021 to be below trading from 2019.

It highlighted that it expects significant volatility in some regions during the rest of the year as restrictions continue to impact performance.

Heineken also said it expects “headwinds in input costs” in the second half of the year and will “be assertive on pricing” and look at cost management to address this.

Nevertheless, it said margin pressure is likely to “intensify” in the second half of the year and the start of 2022.

Dolf van den Brink, chief executive and chairman, said: “We are pleased to report a strong set of results for the first half year, whilst the pandemic continues to impact the world and our business.

“Yet there is reason for caution too.

“Firstly, Covid-19 remains a factor, with the biggest impact currently in key markets in Asia and Africa.

“Secondly, we see a rise in commodity costs, which, at current levels, will start affecting us in the second half of this year and have a material effect in 2022.”

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