EKEN, the world’s third-largest brewer, reported stronger than expected third-quarter group revenue yesterday, boosted by US and emerging market strength and price hikes, but investors focused on weakness in Europe.
Europe's largest brewer, whose Heineken brand is the continent’s number-one selling beer, said the main causes were a double-digit percentage decline in Portugal, which entered its deepest recession since the 1970s this year, and the withdrawal of a product from Finland.
While most other regions saw an increase in volumes and revenues, western Europe, which provided just under half of the Dutch brewer's revenue last year, continues to suffer declining demand. Group sales there fell 2.1 per cent in the third quarter.
Revenue rose four per cent to €4.97bn (£4bn). The company said its operating profit before one-offs was up by a mid single-digit percentage and its net profit was €577m from €525m a year earlier.
Overall, beer volumes rose 2.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis.
Shares have steadily risen since it won a fight to buy Tiger beer maker Asia Pacific Breweries month.