Interbrew Reports Increased Profits Wed Mar 13, 3:15 PM ET
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Belgium's Interbrew NV said Wednesday its profit nearly doubled in 2001, citing strong growth in Western Europe and emerging markets such as Croatia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
The world's second largest brewer earned 537 million euros ($469 million), up from a revised profit of 271 million euros in 2000.
Sales rose to 7.3 billion euros compared to 5.7 billion euros in 2000.
The beer maker restated its 2000 earnings figures after adopting international accounting standards. It previously reported a net profit of 325 million euros for 2000.
Interbrew's figures include its British Bass Brewers unit. After Interbrew bought Bass Brewers in August 2000, British competition authorities forced Interbrew to divest Britain's top selling lager Carling.
In Western Europe, Interbrew said its market share increased in all markets except France. Sales in the region rose nearly 18 percent. The brewing giant said its flagship European brands Jupiler and Stella Artois saw double-digit growth.
Net sales rose 8 percent in North America and 15 percent in emerging markets.
Interbrew is second among world brewers in terms of volume behind Anheuser-Busch Cos. of the United States. Headquartered in the central Belgian city of Leuven, the company employs over 34,000 people worldwide and markets more than 200 brands in over 120 countries.
Interbrew shares rose 0.9 percent in trading on the Brussels exchange._
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