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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 December, 2003, 08:13 GMT
Brewer S&N reports 8% profit rise
Beer pumps inside a pub
Scottish and Newcastle sold its 1,400 UK pubs in October
The UK's biggest brewer Scottish & Newcastle has unveiled an 8% rise in half-year profits to 316m ($544m).

The group recently sold its entire retail estate to private pubs group Spirit Amber for 2.51bn in order to slash debts and fund expansion.

S&N wants to focus more on brewing and brands, in a portfolio which includes Fosters, John Smiths and Kronenbourg.

Looking ahead, the company said it expected "reasonable" market conditions despite fragile market confidence.

Russian growth cut

Chief executive Tony Froggatt said the group expects growth in beer volumes to rise by over 4% in the half-year, with Foster's up 9% and Kronenbourg up 6%.

The company plans to brew the two brands in Russia, where it jointly owns Baltic Beverages with Denmark's Carlsberg. However, it has cut expectations for growth in the Russian beer market to 5% in 2003 from around 8% previously.

Meanwhile, Scottish & Newcastle's share price has underperformed the FTSE 100 index by 30% since the start of the year.

The company sold its 1,400 UK pubs in October for a reported pre-tax profit of 316m.

Brewers bow out of the pub
06 Oct 03  |  Business
S&N toasts 2.5bn pubs sale
06 Oct 03  |  Business
S&N launches 2bn pubs sale
28 Apr 03  |  Business
S&N stakes everything on beer
28 Apr 03  |  Business
Consumer slowdown traps brewer
03 Feb 03  |  Business

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