The investment bank, Fortis Bank, has reduced its recommendation on the Dutch brewer, Grolsch, from "buy" to "accumulate". The bank said the lower rating was due to a disappointing outlook for the brewer which this week posted a 5% increase in net profit for 2002 but declined to give a forecast for the coming year because of uncertain market conditions.

"We have lowered our 2003 and 2004 earnings per share (EPS) estimates by 6% and 12% respectively and foresee even negative profit growth in 2003 and 2004," Fortis said. "We have changed our recommendation to 'accumulate' from 'buy' and set a target price of €22."