Quinsa has posted a strong set of figures for the first half of this year.

The company, which along with AmBev controls Quilmes International, said yesterday (14 August) that net sales in the six months to the end of June increased by 19% on the same period last year, to US$621.2m, from $520.4m in the first half of 2006.

Operating profit for the period rose to $198.5m, from $159.1m for the same period in 2006, with net profit after tax rising by 29.1% to $100.2m, or $0.924 per share.

The company noted a strong performance in Argentina, where beer net revenues increased by 11% to $231.5m. Soft drinks net sales were $167.3m, compared to $133.1m in the first half of 2006.

Volume declines were posted in Chile and Paraguay, however.

Quinsa also highlighted the positive effect on sales of price increases in Argentina, offsetting increases in the cost of certain raw materials and inputs such as malt, cans and energy, as well as increases in the cost of labour, specifically in Argentina.

Quinsa controls 93% of Quilmes International, with the remaining stake being held by AmBev.