Belgium-based brewer Duvel Moortgat has said it expects rises in sales and profits in the second half of 2009, following solid increases in its first six months of the year.

Net sales for the six months to the end of June rose by 11.4% to EUR53.3m (US$76.4m), said Duvel Moortgat last week. Net profits jumped by 41% to EUR6.8m, while operating profits rose 7% to EUR55m, compared to the same period of 2008.

Beer sales of 34%, 15% and 12% in the Netherlands, UK and France respectively drove the net revenue rise, although there were also mid to high single digit sales rises in Belgium, the US and Czech Republic.

The performance, against a backdrop of global recession and shrinking beer markets, left Duvel Moortgat bullish on its second half.

"Should no new and unexpected economic developments occur on the primary markets, the second half of 2009 should bring a rise in turnover and results," said the brewer, which owns the Vedett and Duvel brands.