Heineken hit by higher barley prices

Bottles of Heineken
Image caption Heineken is the world's third-largest brewer

Europe's biggest brewer sold more beer than had been expected in the first three months of the year, but was hit by higher costs.

Heineken sold 4.7% more beer by volume in the first quarter than it had in the first quarter of 2011.

But it said that higher raw materials had hit its profits.

It reported a net profit of 175m euros ($229m; £144m), but that includes an exceptional 20m-euro gain from the revaluation of its Haitian business.

Heineken said that higher prices for malted barley would push up its input costs by about 6%.

It is the world's third-largest brewer and the first of the big four to report quarterly results.

SABMiller will report on Thursday and Anheuser-Busch InBev results are out on 30 April.

Denmark's Carlsberg will report on 9 May.

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