Heineken has announced a 2% fall in UK beer volumes for the past quarter, despite a strong performance from its flagship lager brand.

Increased marketing spend on Heineken lager led to a double-digit rise in volumes, the company said, while Foster's also performed well.

However, volumes fell for brands including John Smith's and Kronenbourg 1664, while Strongbow cider also saw a “low single-digit decline”.

A spokesman for the Dutch brewer said the company had outperformed the market, with BBPA figures indicating beer volumes had fallen by 4.5% over the period.

Despite price hikes, Heineken warned that global pre-tax earnings would be down on the equivalent period last year. It blamed the performance on poor weather and costs associated with its ‘Open your world’ marketing push.

Sales across the business were up 0.6% to €4.65bn (£4.05bn), with Heineken relying on Central and Eastern Europe and other emerging markets for much of the growth.

It said revenues were up 3% on an organic basis, before allowing for the negative impact of currency fluctuations.

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