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Heineken raise a glass to €505m turnover

TURNOVER rose at Heineken Ireland in 2014, with the beer company pulling in €505.5m from drinkers in the Republic and North in comparison to €477m the year before. This outperformed the overall all-island beer market, which shrank 0.3pc by volume in 2014.

But the company was not enthusiastic about the industry's prospects when releasing its 2014 results yesterday. The overall outlook for Ireland remains fragile, it said.

The Cork-based brewery, a subsidiary of international brewing giant Heineken NV, claimed its flagship beer held on to the number one position in the Irish lager market in 2014. Lager remains drinkers' top choice with 64pc of the beer market.

Tequila-flavoured Desperados beer and Tiger had a good year, both delivering double digit growth.

Overall, the company globally has forecast slowing sales and margin growth in 2015, after a year marked by emerging market expansion and the soccer World Cup allowed a sharp dividend hike.

The Dutch brewer benefited from increased beer sales in Africa, the Americas and Asia.

Heineken said, all things being equal, it could gain €130m in operating profit this year from the weaker euro. However, exports to the US would only show benefits from the stronger dollar from 2016.