Heineken, the world's second-largest brewer, reported a higher-than-expected profit in 2022 thanks to growth in all markets and a sharp rebound in Asia, and repeated its forecast of a profit increase this year.
The maker of Europe's top-selling beer Heineken, along with Tiger and Sol lagers, said its operating profit before one-offs rose by 24.0% to €4.50 billion, compared with the average figure of €4.43 billion in a company-compiled poll.
Heineken volumes rose by 12.5% in the period, the group said.
Operating Profit Forecast
The Dutch brewer retained its forecast that its operating profit would rise by a mid- to high-single-digit percentage in 2023.
Heineken said it expects to exceed the €2 billion cost-savings target of its 'EverGreen' strategic revamp this year. It has said it will then find productivity improvements of €400 million per year, equivalent to about 2% of annual expenses.
The drinks firm sold 6.9% more beer globally than in 2021, with higher priced 'premium' beers rising at a faster pace. Sales in Asia were up by nearly a third, the rebound coming a year after COVID-19 restrictions were in place in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and its largest Asian market, Vietnam.
'Challenging And Volatile Environment'
"I am pleased that we delivered a strong set of results in 2022 in a continuously challenging and volatile environment, growing ahead of the beer category in the majority of our markets," commented Dolf van den Brink, Heineken chief executive.
"We are innovating to expand our leadership positions in non-alcoholic and in beyond beer. We are accelerating the deployment of our business-to-business digital platforms and continued the decarbonisation of our breweries."
Commenting on its performance, Laurence Whyatt, Barclays analyst said, "Overall, this is a solid set of figures from Heineken, with strong growth in many markets, together with share gains. The outlook is unlikely to spook investors, as consensus is already there in the negative places, so focus can be on the slight beat at both sales and profit.
"With the same growth expectations (M-HSD profit growth) on a higher base number, we see continued signs for optimism, with upside potential in costs."