Oesterreicheische Brau Beteiligungs AG (BBAG), the holding company for Austrian beer and drinks group, Brau Union AG, reported a 31.4% rise in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to €40.7m for the six months to the end of June. Pre-tax earnings rose by 31.9% to €31.4m on sales 4.6% higher at €561.3m. The company attributed the improvement to reduced spending on the integration of its operations outside Austria which now extend to Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.