Heineken toasts full year 2017 results

Heineken N.V cheered its full year results for 2017 as it reported a 5.37% (5% organic) rise in revenue to €21.9bn. Profits in the same period jumped 7.1% to €2.2bn from €2.09bn in 2016.

Commenting on the results, Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, chief executive officer, Heineken NV said, “We delivered strong results in 2017, with all regions contributing to organic growth in volume, revenue and Operating Profit.” Beer volumes grew 3%, with the “Heineken” beer brand growing 4.5% per hectoliter. The company said that revenue per hectoliter in all regions improved except for Asia Pacific due to negative mix effects.

The firm stressed that it continued to invest in key developing markets with expansion of production capacity in Mexico, Cambodia, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Haiti, with the opening of a new brewery in Ivory Coast and the start of construction of a new brewery in Mozambique.

Regionally, the company said that the Africa, Middle East & Eastern Europe region saw increased organic volume growth of 4.8%, with strong growth coming in the second-half in Ethiopia, South Africa, Russia and Ivory Coast which offset weaker volume in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Egypt, countries which are still experiencing weak consumer demand due to lingering recession. It notes that negative currency movements in Nigeria, the DRC and Egypt erased €567m off the company’s revenues and €116m off Operating Profits.

In Nigeria, consumer confidence remains low due to cost inflation and continued weak economic growth. Beer volume fell to the mid-single-digit with slightly improved trends in the second-half. Valued brands continued to outperform the rest of the portfolio.

Other key markets in Africa showed good performance, with South Africa posting double-digit volume growth in its premium segment – Heineken, Amstel, Sol and Windhoek.

Ethiopia saw double-digit volume increase across the breadth of its portfolio, while Egypt declined double-digit, negatively impacted by VAT increase and the negative effects of the Egyptian Pound devaluation in 2017. Similarly, beer volumes in the DRC fell in the high single-digit due to recent price increase taken to mitigate rising input costs following the currency devaluation.

Elsewhere, the Americas region saw 3.3% organic volume growth, helped by strong growth in Mexico, which offset weaker volumes in the U.S. and Panama.

Asia Pacific saw 8.9% organic volume growth, driven by double-digit gains in Vietnam, and Cambodia, which offset declines in China and Indonesia.

Beer volumes in Europe were nearly flat at 0.2%, driven by positive performance in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, with help from On-premise channel.

Looking forward to 2018, Van Boxmeer said, barring any unforeseen macro-economic and political developments, we expect to deliver an Operating Profit margin expansion of around 25 basis points.

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