Grolsch has had its share coverage raised following the release of lower than expected first half figures.

Rabo Securities said yesterday (11 September) that it was upping its rating of the Dutch brewer to 'hold' from 'reduce', while reducing its share price target to EUR27.5 from EUR29.5. The broker said it had made the moves in line with reduced earnings estimates.

Rabo also said that 'the main opportunity' for Grolsch's investors was an acquisition scenario, and estimated that a purchase price would be in the region of EUR40 to EUR45 per share.

Grolsch said yesterday that operating profit for the six months to the end of June rose to EUR11m (US$15.16m) compared to EUR10.2m in the corresponding period a year earlier. The lift came on the back of rising sales, which were up 8% to EUR164m from EUR152m. Net profit was also up, by 17% to EUR7.6m from EUR6.5m.