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April 22, 2015, 2:53 a.m. EDT

Heineken net profit surges on currency shift

By MarketWatch

AMSTERDAM-- Heineken NV said Wednesday that net profit surged in the first quarter, boosted by a divestment and currency shifts.

The world's third-largest brewer said net profit was EUR579 million ($621 million) in the first three months of 2015, compared with EUR143 million in the same period a year earlier.

The bottom line was lifted by a EUR375 million gain on the sale of Empaque, a Mexican packaging company that was sold in February for $1.23 billion.

Profits were also driven by higher revenues, which rose 7.4% to EUR4.34 billion on a consolidated basis, primarily because of a EUR227 million benefit linked to the surge of major currencies such as the dollar and pound sterling against the euro.

Heineken said beer volumes rose in Asia and the Americas, helping to offset subdued growth in Africa and Europe. It maintained its outlook for 2015, saying it expects further organic revenue and profit growth this year.

Write to Maarten van Tartwijk at maarten.vantartwijk@wsj.com

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