UPDATE 1-Heineken profits from developing market surge, cost cuts
* H1 operating profit 1.45 bln vs consensus 1.42 bln euro
* Operating profit in emerging markets up 7 pct
* Pushes through 139 mln euros of new savings plan
BRUSSELS, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Heineken, the world's third largest brewer, reported higher first-half earnings than expected with a surge in profit in developing economies and tight control of costs in mature markets.
The Dutch company, the brewer with the greatest sales in Europe, said on Wednesday that operating profit before one-offs grew 5 percent to 1.45 billion euros ($1.95 billion) compared with 1.42 billion in a Reuters poll.
On a like-for-like basis the number was unchanged from a year earlier.
The group, which brews Europe's best-selling Heineken lager, Sol, Tiger and Strongbow cider, said operating profit in emerging markets as a whole grew by 7 percent on an equivalent basis and now made up half of earnings for the group.
The brewer has a greater share of the sluggish western European market than its rivals.
However, it has boosted its presence in emerging markets with its 2010 purchase of the brewing business of Mexico's Femsa and by taking full control last year of Asia Pacific Breweries.
The company said it had achieved 139 million euros in savings from a new cost reduction plan in the first six months of the year, the main gains coming from the Americas and western Europe.
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