Beer giant Heineken to cut 8,000 jobs

Dutch brewer Heineken is to cut 8,000 jobs, equating to nearly 10% of its workforce, after it posted a net loss of €109.4 million in 2020.

Heineken announced plans for an “organisational review” of the business in October last year as part of its so-called EverGreen plan to make €2 billion gross savings by 2023.

The result will mean 8,000 job losses, saving €350 million in personnel expenses. The cuts, some of which will affect the company’s head office in Amsterdam, will be made in the first quarter of this year.

A spokesperson told the BBC that the restructure will affect less than 100 members of Heineken’s 2,300-strong UK workforce.

In its full year results, posted yesterday, the brewer said the coronavirus pandemic continued to have “a material impact” on its business.

Dolf van den Brink, who took over as Heineken’s CEO in June, said it had been a year of “unprecedented disruption” and that the impact of pandemic had been “amplified by [Heineken’s] on-trade and geographic exposure”.

Heineken’s revenue for 2020 fell 17.7% to €19.7 billion and beer volume sales fell in all its markets. Operating profit decreased by 35.6% to reach €2.4bn.

However, its European direct-to-consumer platform, Beerwulf, almost doubled last year’s takings, and tripled its UK revenue. The Heineken brand also grew by double digits in 25 markets including the UK, Brazil, China and Germany, while its non-alcoholic variant Heineken 0.0, which is now present in 84 countries, posted growth in all markets, in particular Brazil, Mexico and the US.

In a statement, the company said at the end of last month, less than 30% of its on-trade outlets were operating in Europe. It expects the pandemic to continue to affect business performance in the first half of this year, with gradual improvement in the second half.

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