Wednesday 24 October 2018 1:02 pm

Heineken sticks to outlook as it grows beer sales in all four corners of the globe


Brewer Heineken grew across the globe in the third quarter, helped by good weather in Europe and strong development in the US and South America, it revealed today in a trading update.

The brewer kept its forecast for the financial year unchanged after it was revised down in July on the back of weak currencies in profitable emerging markets.

Net profit stood at €1.6bn (£1.4bn) for the first nine months of the year, an eight per cent increase on the same period in 2017.

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Heineken grew consolidated beer volumes by 4.4 per cent on last year to as beer lovers filled their glasses with 6.3bn litres of its brews in the third quarter.

At 8.1 per cent, the Americas grew strongest in the quarter, boasting 21.5 per cent growth in the year to date.

The company has also grown by 10.1 per cent in Asia so far this year.

But although Europe, the company’s largest market, got a 2.2 per cent boost during the warm summer, growth remains at a sluggish 0.7 per cent in 2018.

Outside Asia, growth was mainly driven by the firm's eponymous Heineken lager, which registered a 10.3 per cent increase in the third quarter.

The brewer behind Amstel, Tiger and Strongbow, is hoping to build on its already strong growth in Asia with an agreement in China.

In a $3.1bn (£2.4bn) deal the Dutch group agreed to acquire a 40 per cent stake in China Resources Beer in August, giving it a major distribution network in the country.

Growth in consolidated beer volume reached double digits in Vietnam, and high single digits in Indonesia, however it fell in Cambodia after competition increased.

Chief executive Jean-François van Boxmeer said: “Volume growth continued in the third quarter, benefiting from good weather in Europe and strong growth in Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam and South Africa.

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“The Heineken brand continued to outperform, driven by Brazil, South Africa, France and Russia. In August, we announced the signing of non-binding agreements with China Resources to join forces to win in China.

“Our expectations for the full year 2018 remain unchanged.”