Heineken posted a 10.3% leap in annual sales helped by higher selling prices and an improved sales mix.

For the year ended December 31 turnover jumped to 10.3bn euros from 9.3bn euros last year of which organic growth amounted to 6%.

Pre-tax profit climbed to 1.2bn euros from 1.1bn in 2001.

The Dutch brewing giant said that lower sales in the UK - compared to the US, Poland and Thailand where Heineken is positioned in the premium segment - restricted the growth of worldwide Heineken beer sales to 22.9 million hl, an increase of 2.5%.

To boost UK sales Heineken will this week be introduced in the premium segment, the company added.

Looking ahead Heineken said it expected further growth in net profit in 2003 despite a number of “uncertainties”.