Heineken Nine months sales boosted by emerging markets

Amsterdam-based Heineken N.V. reported its nine months results to the end of September on Wednesday, with revenue climbing 2.5%, driven by growth in all regions except Europe and the United States.

The company said that beer volume grew 3.4%, driven by growths in Brazil, South Africa, Russia and Mexico.

Net profit for the period rose 19.94% to €1.49bn ($1.75bn) compared to €1.239bn recorded in the same period last year when the company had to take an asset impairment charge of €233m in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Regionally, Africa, Middle East & Eastern Europe saw 8.8% volume growth, driven by double-digit volume gains in South Africa and Ethiopia, which offset declines of mid-single digit in Nigeria. Heineken said that underlying trading conditions remain difficult in Nigeria and consumers continue to trade down. The brewer noted that liquidity remains a challenge, despite improvements this year.

Still on Africa, the company said that its new Ivory Coast brewery performed ahead of expectations. In Russia, beer volumes grew into the double-digit due to growth of the Heineken brand and recent launches in the economy segment.

In the Americas, the brewer saw double-digit growth in Mexico and Brazil which offset mid-single-digit decline in the United States.

The Dutch brewer saw its best performance in Asia, where beer volumes grew 12.2%, helped by double-digit growth in Vietnam with the Tiger brand continuing to roar. Cambodia also performed well in the double-digits, benefiting from additional capacity added last year. The company also saw double-digit growth in Malaysia, while China’s volume continues to be impacted by parallel imports.

Europe’s volumes declined 2.8% with negative performance in France and the Netherlands due to comparatives and a cool summer. The UK did not fare any better with double-digit declines, impacted by a partial delisting by a major customer. Poland volumes fell by the single-digit while volumes in Italy grew mid-single digit.

The company said that its full-year expectations remained unchanged with profit and revenue expected to grow.

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