Heineken NV, the world’s third-largest brewer, reported third-quarter sales growth that beat analysts’ estimates as good weather in Europe spurred consumers to buy more beer.
Revenue increased 7.5 percent, the Amsterdam-based company said Wednesday. Analysts expected 3.9 percent growth, according to the median of 14 estimates. Beer volume rose 5.4 percent, compared with the 2.6 percent gain predicted by analysts. Both figures are reported on a so-called consolidated basis, and exclude the effects of acquisitions, disposals and currency shifts.
The company expects to "continue to deliver positive top and bottom line growth,” Chief Executive Officer Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said in a statement. The company repeated its guidance for operating margin expansion, while saying currency fluctuations may benefit net profit by 50 million euros ($55 million).
Heineken’s industry is consolidating as the world’s two largest beermakers, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and SABMiller Plc, have agreed to merge in a $106 billion deal. Large brewers are seeking to gain market share through acquisitions as the consumption of mass-market beer wanes in Europe and North America, where consumers increasingly favor craft ales and lagers. This month, Heineken completed the purchase of a 50 percent stake in Lagunitas, a craft brewer based in California.
Heineken shares have gained 36 percent this year. That compares with a 13 percent advance in AB InBev and a 17 percent increase in SABMiller.
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