Europe is a letdown for Heineken

Western Europe was the only one of the brewer Heineken's regions to see a fall in sales as austerity measures and pay cuts took their toll on drinkers.

Sales fell 6.8 per cent in Europe but grew 7.9 per cent in the Americas and 9.8 per cent in Africa, leading to an overall rise of 7.4 per cent to €18.4bn (£15.8bn). Net profits grew 1.6 per cent to €1.7bn. Heineken, whose brands include Desperados, Strongbow Gold and Sol, said it made cost savings of €196m in 2012.