Dutch brewer Heineken plans to boost its presence across the US after posting disappointing first-half results.

Stateside sales slipped in the first six months of the year – a decline Heineken attributes to the war in Iraq, bad weather, continuing economic weakness and a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

The company has so far focused its stateside efforts in the north-east, the nation’s smallest regional beer market. It now hopes to push into other regions with a greater thirst for beer, particularly the central states.

“We are developing plans to focus more on other regions,” declared Heineken ceo Anthon Ruys, “especially in the large cities and population centres where Heineken generally performs better.”

For the first half, group net profits (excluding exceptional items and amortisation) edged up to €334m ($374.6m; £235.0m) from €330m last year.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff