Heineken's beer and cider sales fall

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The Independent Online

The Strongbow brewer Heineken sold less beer and cider in the UK in the first half as low consumer confidence hit sales.

The Dutch company said that volumes continued to be weak in the usually high-selling season of July and early August.

Heineken, which acquired some of its UK brands through the 2008 takeover of Scottish & Newcastle, said Strongbow volumes had dropped in the UK face of increased competition – Stella Artois launched its Cidre brand in April – and the scrapping of its high-alcohol Strongbow Black.

The warning came as Heineken recorded a 14 per cent fall in earnings to €605m (£529m).