Netherlands: Heineken surprises analysts

Analysts were taken by surprise by the positive performance of Heineken.  Due to solid beer sales in Asia and Europe the world’s second largest brewer could even outperform a strong first quarter last year while industry observers expected declining sales.

Heineken reported rising sales by 0.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis with the Asia Pacific region strong at +5.4%. Europe increased by 0.5% on these terms thanks to optimizations in the home market the Netherlands as well as in France, Spain, Italy and Austria.

“In Africa, Middle East & Eastern Europe market conditions remain challenging, adversely impacting volume," Chief Executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said in a statement on Wednesday. Sales dropped sharply in Nigeria, Russia and Brazil and were only partly offset by a strong performance in Mexico.

Net profit in the first quarter of 2017 was €293 million ($314m), up 10.6% from €265 million ($284m) in 2016. "Performance in the first quarter was in line with expectations, delivering volume growth against strong comparatives last year," commented van Boxmeer.

In 2016, Heineken's over all beer volume sale grew 7%, with an exceptional increase of 23% in Asia and 8% in the Americas.

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