Heineken yesterday warned that profits for 2012 would be largely flat compared to last year, as the higher cost of raw materials continued to eat into the brewer’s margins.

The Dutch giant said input costs had risen by around 7% in the past six months and expected that to rise to 8% for the year as a whole – offsetting price rises.

Revenues for the first half of the year were up 5% to €8.78bn (£6.94bn), but profits fell on an organic basis by 5.5% and stood at €1.27bn (£1bn).

Although emerging markets would show “continued positive momentum”, Heineken warned that beer volumes in Western Europe would “remain subdued in the second half of 2012 owing to the challenging economic conditions”.

News of the performance came as Heineken battles for control of Asia Pacific Breweries, having made an improved offer for the Tiger brewer earlier this week.