Dutch brewing giant Heineken has said this morning that it sees no sign of a slowdown in the year ahead, as it forecasted higher profits in the wake of increased demand for more expensive drinks and rising beer prices.
The world’s second-largest beer manufacturer's organic operating profit hit €3.8bn (£3.4bn) in 2018, rising 6.4 per cent from the previous 12 months.
Meanwhile, net revenue climbed 6.1 per cent to €26.8bn, trumping analysts' estimates.
Consolidated beer volumes also rose 4.2 per cent, with the firm saying that it had seen growth in all region.
Heineken, whose brands include Amstel, Sol and Strongbow cider, "delivered another year of superior top-line growth," according to chief executive Jean-François van Boxmeer this morning.
He added: "Going into 2019, we expect the environment to remain uncertain and volatile. Overall, we anticipate our operating profit to grow by mid-single digit on an organic basis."
Despite currency movements and increased competition from craft beers, strong sales in Heineken’s emerging markets has boosted profits, with the company reporting a 5.3 per cent increase in revenues the year before last.
However, last summer the group posted a three per cent fall in half-year operating profits to €1.75bn, despite a four per cent rise in sales, with the firm warning that profit margins would be dented by the translation from earnings overseas into the strong euro.