Heineken's net profit rises 19 percent

Dutch brewer Heineken Holding NV reported full year profit of 761 million euros ($906.5 million), up 19 percent from a year earlier due to stronger sales and lower restructuring costs.

Heineken, the world’s fourth largest brewer, said sales rose 7 percent to 10.8 billion euros ($12.9 billion) from 10.1 billion euros.

Chief Executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer was bullish on the company’s prospects, predicting that global beer consumption will grow in 2006 and premium beer sales will rise faster than the market as a whole.

“In particular the Heineken brand will benefit from this trend, fueling the growth of profitability through a better sales mix and higher volumes,” he said in a statement.

The company, which reports earnings twice a year, did not break out its six-month results. Heineken had charges of 190 million euros in 2004 from restructuring in its Brazilian operations, compared to just 102 million euros this year, mostly from closures and restructurings in Spain and France.