Interbrew has maintained volume sales in spite of general decline in many western European markets. Its 19.1% first half volume growth has been fuelled by acquisitions which include Whitbread Beer Company, Rogan Brewery and Prague Breweries Reporting a 35% first half increase in turnover, chief executive Hugo Powell said a ruling from the UK competition authorities on the future of its Bass acquisition was imminent. Analysts believe the Belgian brewer will be forced to sell most of Bass but may be allowed to keep the Scottish and Irish businesses. They say Heineken would step in to buy the remaining assets, which include Carling. Powell said half-year net profit was up 66.5% to 203m euro (£127.6m). {{NEWS }}

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