Shares in Scottish & Newcastle rose 13.5p to finish on 505.5p yesterday despite warning that the recent bad weather could hit full-year targets.

The brewer, which makes brands including Kronenbourg 1664, Foster's and Newcastle Brown Ale, reported a 5.5% increase in half-year pre-tax profit to £191m on sales up 7.8% at £2.1bn.

Analysts continued to speculate that S&N could be the subject of a bid from a rival brewer. “Bad trading, if anything, makes a bid more likely,” Andrew Holland, an analyst at Desdner Kleinwort told the Financial Times.

“A rating in line with its peers fully values the stock on fundamental grounds but it remains vulnerable to bid speculation,” added David Hallam, an analyst at Evolution Securities.