Heineken UK, Britain’s biggest brewer, has reported a rise in EBIT in 2011 despite a decline in beer and cider volumes. Beer volumes declined 2.8%, although managing director Stefan Orlowski said this was ahead of the total market and there had been a “modest share gain”, led by the Heineken brand (+14% by volume) and the “hugely successful launch of Foster’s Gold”. Overall cider volumes “declined versus last year, following higher promotional activity in 2010, the voluntary discontinuation of Strongbow Black on social responsibility grounds and the launch of new entrants into the market”. “We believe that the new entrants will support the positive long-term development of the cider category, where Bulmer’s No. 17 cider was successfully launched in 2011.” He added: “In the UK, we managed to increase our EBIT contribution, driven by the benefit of cost saving programmes and better pricing.” Orlowski said the 918 Galaxy pubs bought by Heineken from RBS in December “are already making a positive contribution to our UK business”. “Freehold ownership allows us to continue the successful transformation of our pub business, concentrate on operational excellence and provide a fantastic shop window for our brands in a high-quality, well invested estate.” The sites form part of the c.1,300-stong Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company estate. Internationally, Heineken reported a 3.6% rise in revenue to Euro17,123m, driven by volume growth of 2.1% and growth in revenue per hectolitre of 1.5%. Net profit increased 1.2% to Euro1,430m, and group beer volume increased by 3.6%. The company cited strong growth for its Heineken brand in Brazil, China, France, Nigeria and Vietnam, while the brand was also launched in Mexico and India in the year.