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United Breweries’ Shares Surge 20% as Profit Doubles

United Breweries Ltd., owner of India’s biggest beer brand, rose to a 29-month high after net profit more than doubled and interest payments fell.

The shares surged 20 percent, the maximum permissible daily limit, to 281.60 rupees at close of trading in Mumbai. The stock, the best-performer on the BSE-500 Index, touched the highest since Feb. 8, 2008. About 1.98 million shares were traded today, or 14.2 times the six-month daily average. The Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensex Index rose 0.8 percent.

“On the one hand you have the earnings going up, and on the other the debt level coming down, which makes your balance sheet that much healthier,” said Arun Kejriwal, the Mumbai-based director of Kejriwal Research & Investment Services. “Going forward they could be in a better position.”

Net income in the three months to June 30 rose to 761.3 million rupees ($16.1 million) from 355 million rupees a year earlier, the Bangalore-based company said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange yesterday. Sales rose 37 percent to 7.76 billion rupees.

The brewer, owned by billionaire Vijay Mallya, paid 134.2 million rupees ($2.85 million) of interest in the quarter, almost a fifth of its payments in the previous three months.

United Breweries’ shares have doubled in the past year as beer sales jumped 20 percent in the 12 months to March 31. The company signed a deal with Heineken NV in December to brew and distribute the Dutch beer in the world’s second-most populous nation.

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