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Brau Union Hungaria first-half profits up 76.1% yr/yr

Brewery Brau Union Hungaria had unconsolidated pre-tax profit of Ft 688 million in the first half of 2005, 76.1% more than in the same period a year earlier, the company said in its unaudited H1 report, published in Magyar Tőkepiac on Monday. The rise in profits is partly the result of a low base. The report noted that pre-tax profits were Ft 391million in H1 2004, 83% less than in the same period of 2003, even as revenues rose 17.4%. Brau Union Hungaria had revenue of Ft 18.9 billion, down 3.3 % yr/yr. In volume terms, Brau Union Hungaria's sales fell 4.1% to 960,000 hectolitres, giving it a 30.7% share of the market, still a
fraction more than a year earlier. First-half operating profit was Ft 688 million, double operating profit in the same period a year earlier. Financial profits of Ft 36 million were cancelled out by an extraordinary expenditures of the same amount. Brau Union Hungaria's shares were delisted from the Budapest Stock Exchange on July 14, after months of wrangling by small shareholders prevented a takeover by brewing giant Heineken. Heineken now owns 99.6% of votes in the brewery through its subsidiary Brau Immobilien.