Grolsch believes net profit for full-year 2003 will substantially outstrip 2002, but its new brewery will cost more than originally expected. The Dutch brewer forecast in September last year that it would beat 2002's net profit of €30.1m to some extent. However, this forecast did not take account of an €8m exceptional gain.

The company also said that its projection of €250m for its new brewery would actually be nearer to €277m. The increase is blamed on inflation, cost increases and substantial investments.
The exceptional gain of €8m is in respect of higher residual values of assets decommissioned at breweries, Grolsch said.

The brewer does not envisage any change in its customary dividend pay-out ratio of 40% to 45% of net profit. The dividend pay-out will be based on the net profit excluding the exceptional gain, the company said.