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Heineken: beats expectations, shares up

( - Heineken shares are up over 5% on Wednesday after the Dutch brewing company posted stronger-than-expected 2018 results and provided a reassuring guidance for 2019.

Heineken, whose brands include Amstel, Tiger and Desperados, said that its 2018 net income rose by 12.5% to 2.4 billion euros, on revenue that grew 5.9% to 26.8 billion euros.

Consolidated beer volume rose by 4.2% in the past year, with growth in all regions and Heineken volumes jumping by 7.7%, the best performance of the brand in over a decade.

For 2019, the company expects operating profit to grow by mid-single digit on an organic basis in an environment that will remain "uncertain and volatile."

For 2018, the group will propose a total cash dividend of 1.60 euro to shareholders, up 8.8% from 2017.

Heineken's shares are currently up 5.5% at 58.9 euros, largely outpacing the STOXX European food and beverage index, which is up 0.5%.

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