Heineken predicts return to growth in 2014

The world’s third largest brewery is confident that sales in emerging markets including  Africa, Asia and Latin America will boost revenue this year, offsetting a slowdown of sales in Europe.

Heineken

Heineken, which also brews Sol and makes Strongbow cider, said it is expecting higher sales in emerging markets to offset lower consumption in Europe.

Today, 12 February, Heineken posted an organic revenue growth of just 0.1%, while profits fell by 2% to 1.59bn euros ($2.2bn; £1.3bn) in 2013.

Its premium volume declined by 1.8%, impacted by a de-stocking in France and the US, however the groups operating profit increased 2.8% and grew 0.6% organically.

The figures were not unexpected and in line with forecasts after the brewer issued a profit warning in October last year with the company, along with other brewers, affected by disappointing sales in Europe.

Jean-François van Boxmeer, chairman of the executive board and CEO, said: “2013 was a challenging year as slower economic growth in a number of key markets and adverse regulatory developments impacted performance.

“However, we increased investments in our premium brand portfolio and innovation. This helped to drive higher revenue per hectolitre and market share gains in a number of important markets.

“Our volume performance improved in the second half of the year in Western Europe and Africa Middle East. TCM2 generated €300 million of cost savings, driving higher operating margins.

“Whilst the performance of developing markets was not as strong as expected, they now account for nearly half of group revenues and remain strong platforms for long-term growth. We will continue to invest in and focus on the execution of our strategic priorities to drive future growth.”

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