Heineken Sells More Beer In First Quarter, Sticks To Outlook

By Reuters
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Heineken Sells More Beer In First Quarter, Sticks To Outlook

Heineken sold more beer in the first quarter, reporting its first quarterly year-on-year growth in volumes in a year, and stuck to its forecast for profit growth in 2024.

The world's second-largest brewer said that beer sales by volume rose 4.7% organically in the January to March period, beating the 2.5% growth expected by analysts in a company-provided poll.

Heineken is focused on restoring volume growth this year, which was hurt in 2023 as it hiked its prices to offset rising costs of everything from energy to barley.

Net revenue before one-offs rose 9.4% organically to €6.85 billion, above the 7.2% growth expected by analysts.

'Sequential Improvement''

Chief executive Dolf van den Brink said in a statement that all regions posted higher volume and net revenue, and the company continued to see a "sequential improvement" in its business performance.


"This quarter was boosted by an earlier Easter and cycling negative one-off effects from last year," he commented. "Top-line delivery was well-balanced between volume and value as more markets returned to volume growth and our underlying premiumisation trends remained strong."

Still, the brewer said it continued to see the economic environment as 'challenging and uncertain'.

"We will continue to invest behind our brands, innovations, commercial capabilities and route-to-consumer," van den Brink added. "Our full year expectations remain unchanged."

Operating Profit Forecast

The Dutch brewer disappointed investors in February with its wide range for forecast operating profit growth, which it said could be anywhere between a low and high single-digit percentage this year.


Its cautious view early in the year had been in part caused by the uncertainty in two of its important markets, Vietnam and Nigeria, where economic conditions dragged on its performance last year.

Heineken said total volume in Nigeria grew close to 20%. In Vietnam, where Heineken had to destock last year, volume rose in the low-teens.

Additional reporting by ESM

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