The Austrian drings group, BBAG Oesterreichische Brau- Beteiligungs AG, has reported a pre-tax profit up €35.0m for the first half of 2003, up 11.5% from the first half of last year. Earnings per share rose by 12.4% to €1.47.

However, sales in the first half were down by 3.1% at €544.1m. EBIT stood at €40.4m against €40.7m last year.

BBAG said trading recovered considerably in the second quarter on the back of stronger earnings in the beer and soft drinks sectors. Second-quarter EBIT reached €37m, a record quarterly figure for the company.