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Heineken volumes stirred by the magic touch of 007

Heineken saw a surge in volumes of its flagship beer last year as the world's most famous fictional spy got a taste for its lager.

The Dutch group, whose products also include Fosters, Newcastle Brown Ale and John Smith's, said like-for-like volumes of Heineken grew 3.7% in Western Europe after James Bond actor Daniel Craig, pictured, swapped his vodka martini for a bottle of Heineken.

The partnership with the makers of Skyfall and a deal to be the official lager supplier at the London Olympics helped overall Heineken volumes rise 5.3% in 2012.

The group said its beer brands gained market share in the UK, France, Ireland and Belgium, but overall beer volumes in its Western European business still declined 2% as people spent less in pubs and clubs. Underlying sales in its Western European business fell 0.1%, but across the group, revenues were up 3.9% to £16 billion, as it launched brands Desperados, Strongbow Gold and Sol into new markets.

Chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said: "The higher growth regions of Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific are expected to more than offset volume weakness in European markets affected by continued economic uncertainty."

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