InBev has indicated that it will increase its cost-cutting programme in Western Europe, a region the company has found hard going in the first half of the year.

Speaking on a conference call yesterday (8 September), after the company's first half results, CEO John Brock said that he would not rule out closing more of the company's breweries in the region. However, he added that it was not a step InBev would take lightly and other options were available.

Yesterday, InBev said that a strong performance in the Americas and Eastern Europe has more than offset the challenging conditions in Western Europe, helping it report first half profit attributable to InBev equity holders of €397m versus €205m in the same period a year before.

Brock said Western Europe continued to be a challenge, but added that it was a challenge "that the whole beer industry is facing".

"Most of the markets in Western Europe aren't growing," he said. "They are flat, or even down a little bit. In this environment, it is difficult, even with the brand portfolio that we have, to grow volumes."