Heineken, the world's second-largest beer-maker, has forecast its operating profit to grow at nearly the same rate this year as it did in 2018, when beer sales increased in all its markets.
Heineken posted net revenue growth of 6.1% in full-year 2018, with consolidated beer volumes up 4.2%, with growth reported in all regions.
Its core Heineken brand saw volumes up 7.7%, which was the brewer’s best performance in over a decade, it reported.
Superior Top-Line Growth
"In 2018, we delivered another year of superior top-line growth,” commented Heineken chief executive Jean-François van Boxmeer.
“The Heineken brand grew 7.7% – its best performance in over a decade – with Heineken 0.0 now available in 38 countries. Our premium portfolio grew [by] double digit[s], led by our international brands, craft & variety, and cider portfolios. All regions grew, and Brazil recorded a strong performance, following the successful integration of our two businesses,” added van Boxmeer.
Looking ahead to the coming year, Heineken noted that it expected continued economic volatility but improved revenue, driven by increased beer sales, higher prices, and consumers trading up, to more expensive drinks.
"Going into 2019, we expect the environment to remain uncertain and volatile. Overall, we anticipate our operating profit (BEIA) to grow by mid-single digit[s] on an organic basis," van Boxmeer said.
The brewer's operating profit before one-offs rose by 6.4% on a like-for-like basis in 2018, to €3.87 billion ($4.39 billion), just above the average forecast of €3.85 billion ($4.34 billion) in a Reuters poll.