The Hague — Dutch brewing giant Heineken on Monday reported a 48.6% leap in first half profits, with beer sales boosted by warm weather in Europe and its new zero-alcohol brand.

Profit rose to €871m in the first half of 2017, from €586 million in the year-earlier period, the company said.

"We delivered strong results in the first half-year, with all four regions contributing positively to organic growth in volume, revenue and operating profit," CEO Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said.

Europe in particular "delivered a good performance", he remarked in a statement, with the company noting the "particularly good weather" in the region.

Total sales in the first six months of 2017 were up 3.8% to €10.47bn, compared with €10.09bn a year ago.

"After a slower first quarter given Easter timing, the earlier Tet Vietnamese New Year and tough comparatives, all regions saw higher organic volume growth in the second quarter," the Amsterdam-based company said.

New brand Heineken 0.0 was launched in the second quarter in 16 markets, and the company said it "already looks promising".

"Overall in Europe, there was double-digit growth for low- and no-alcohol volume, including strong performances in Spain, Netherlands, Poland and Austria," it said.

The company warned, however, that "economic conditions are expected to remain volatile" and it expected to continue to be hit by the "negative impact" of currency fluctuations.

Heineken is the world’s second-largest brewer after global number one AB InBev clinched a mega deal for its nearest rival SABMiller in November 2015. It was the third-biggest takeover in global corporate history.

Heineken also said it had completed on May 31 its acquisition of the Brazilian unit of Japanese brewer Kirin for €594m.

Founded in the 19th century, Heineken produces and sells more than 250 brands including Desperados tequila-flavoured beer, Sol and Strongbow cider.

It employs more than 80,000 people and operates in 70 countries around the world.


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