Heineken sold 4.3% more beers in Q1 than same period last year

Heineken NV said on Wednesday that consolidated beer volume for the first quarter grew 4.3% organically, with the biggest growth coming from markets in Asia Pacific, Americas, and Africa, Middle East & Eastern Europe. The growth was against a backdrop of lower volume in Western Europe which was impacted by the cold spell in places like France, Spain and Austria. Total volumes in Europe fell 1.7% as the benefit of an earlier Easter was more than offset by colder weather.

The Heineken beer brand saw an 8.1% volume growth globally, driven by demand in key markets such as Brazil, South Africa, Russia, Nigeria, Italy, Mexico and Vietnam.

The Africa, Middle East & Eastern Europe saw a consolidated organic volume growth of 6.1%, driven by double-digit gains in Russia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, and Egypt against a single-digit volume decline in Nigeria, partly due to some destocking at the distributor level. Beer volumes also fell double-digit in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as price increases taken last year impacted affordability.

The Americas region posted a 6.5% volume growth, helped by double-digit growth of the firm’s brands in Mexico such as Tecate, Dos Equis and Heineken brand. Brazil also witnessed double-digit gains, though against a low comparable from last year. The Dutch brewer notes that its Heineken brand, Amstel, Sol and the beer portfolio from the Kirin acquisition continued to deliver double-digit volume growth. In the United States, beer volume fell in the single-digit in a declining US beer market.

Asia Pacific region delivered the strongest volume growth at 11.3%, driven by gains of its Tiger brand in Vietnam as well as double-digit volume growth in Cambodia, Malaysia, and New Zealand against decline in Indonesia.

Net profit in the quarter fell to €260 million ($321 million) compared to €293 million from last year due in part to the impact of the lower dollar exchange rate against the euro. The company expects to take a charge of €115 million for exchange rate fluctuations for the full year 2018.

The company notes that the first quarter is seasonally not significant in terms of volume and profit for the full year.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, the company said it was sticking with its full year guidance remaining unchanged.

Updated: 20/4/2018 1:49PM

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