Dutch brewer Heineken said sales in the first half of 2003 were €4.6bn, 6% up on the same period last year, and volume had risen by 9%.

Profits were 21% up at €400m, most of the rise due to the sale of its stake in Argentinian brewer Quilmes.

Heineken said that excluding the impact of the weak dollar and write-offs on investments, its “organic” earnings rose 6% and it predicted the same or better growth in the second half.