Heineken, Europe’s largest beer manufacturer, has doubled its earnings for the first half of the year.
Operating profit increased by 109.3 per cent reaching 1.63 billion euros (£1.39 billion). The results far exceeded the average expectation of a company-run poll of analysts predicting profits of 1.22 billion euros.
Dolf van den Brink, Heineken’s CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board, said: “We are pleased to report a strong set of results for the first half year, whilst the pandemic continues to impact the world and our business.”
He credited staff for adapting to the pandemic, staying “agile where [lockdown] restrictions were reintroduced.” However, he urged “caution” as Covid-19 restrictions and rising commodity prices continue to hamper growth.
Heineken’s revenue has been hit hard by lockdown restrictions with operating profits falling by -52 per cent in its second-half results for 2020.
While the easing of lockdown across Europe this Summer has seen demand for Heineken increase, with beer volume up by 13 per cent in Q2 of 2021, hospitality venues across Europe are operating with reduced capacity. In Amsterdam, where Heineken is headquartered, clubs and pubs were closed last month under tightening lockdown rules.
Heineken is expecting results to remain below pre-pandemic levels, forecasting reduced profits in the second half of 2021 as a result of rising commodity costs and lockdown restrictions hitting key markets.
William Ryder, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said the “recovery is getting underway at Heineken, and most of the numbers look much merrier than they did in 2020 when Covid first struck. However, the regional picture is more mixed, and it really depends how the timing of the various Covid waves has worked out.”