Heineken reported a 8.2% drop in first-half profits to Eu345m (£234m), blaming spending on advertising and reorganisation costs. Marketing costs rose by 9.4% as operating profit fell 12% in Western Europe and 14% in the Americas. Sales rose 5.8% to Eu5.14bn after acquisitions in Russia, Germany and Nigeria. The company is spending around Eu100m this year on marketing, including a commercial starring Brad Pitt. Rene Hooft Graafland, the company’s chief financial officer, said: "Wine and spirits has surely taken some ground, especially in the US, and that means brewers have to fight back."

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