Heineken sees profits rise 17% despite sales fall

Dutch brewing company Heineken has reported a rise in profits for the last six months, despite falling beer sales.

Net profits for the first half of the year hit 621m euros (£510m; $788m), up 17% on the same period last year.

Cost cutting helped boost profits, which came despite a 2.3% decrease in beer sales.

The company blamed the economic environment and tax increases in Europe for the decline.

It was partially offset by growth in developing markets, however.

The BBC's Aaron Heslehurst spoke to Jean Francois Van Boxmeer, chief executive of Heineken.

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