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    Heineken Profits Flat

    Brewer cites weak global economy, weather for flat profits.

    NIJMEGEN, the Netherlands -- Heineken, one of the world's largest brewers, said yesterday its profit for the first half of this year has flattened because of a weak global economy, bad weather and a smoking ban in New York City.

    In a report today in The New York Times, Heineken CFO Rene Hooft Graafland told analysts in a conference call that the company was abandoning its forecast for 7 percent sales growth in the United States.

    "We clearly see that 7 percent is no realistic anymore," he said. Heineken holds a 23-percent market share in the imported beer subcategory in the United States.

    In addition to the United States, Heineken said sales volume had fallen in Greece, the Netherlands, France and the Far East as well. Still, its market share had not declined.

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