Heineken toasts the British pub

Heineken hailed the British pub industry as it revealed it has grown market share in the UK by 14% over the past year.

The group is also optimistic about its prospects for 2012 in the country, with business expected to be boosted by the Queen’s Jubilee, the London Olympics and the Euro 2012 football tournament.

However, the brewer also warned beer prices are set to go up this year, as it looks to pass on a 6% increase in its costs per hectolitre as the price of malted barley rises.

Heineken, the world’s third-largest brewer and the official beer sponsor of the Olympic Games, owns 1,380 British pubs after buying 918 from Royal Bank of Scotland last year.

Finance director Rene Hooft Graafland said: “The British pub has a great future. It is a great place to be. There has been a shake-out and many of the weak performers have gone.

“There is, of course, a shift in habits to off-premises drinking but this is happening everywhere, not just the UK.

“But the good pubs, those with good food, a good location and good guys behind the bar and, of course with the best Heineken beer,will succeed.”

Heineken, which also owns Amstel, Desperados and Strongbow cider as well as its flagship eponymous brand, said 2011 net profits before one-offs rose 9.2% to €1.58 billion (£1.32bn), ahead of forecasts.

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