Jean-François van Boxmeer, outgoing chairman of the executive board and CEO at Heineken (inside.beer, 11.2.2020), crowned his career with a glowing result for the past year 2019: Net revenue and operating profit grew organically by +5.6% and +3.9% respectively; consolidated beer volume was up +3.1% with the volume of lead brand Heineken showing the best performance in over a decade (+8.3%).
For 2020, the company anticipates to deliver “a superior top-line growth driven by volume, price and premiumisation and a low-single digit increase of input costs per hectoliter, with the benefit of lower prices in some commodities largely offset by transactional currency headwinds.”
Continued cost management initiatives and productivity improvements are set to fuel investment behind brands, innovation, e-commerce platforms, technology upgrades and sustainability programmes.
Jean-François van Boxmeer commented:
"In 2019, we delivered another year of superior top-line growth, with continued strong performance in the second half. Growth was well balanced with beer volume up 3.1% and revenue per hectolitre up 3.3%, driven by robust pricing and focus on premiumisation. The Heineken® brand growth accelerated to 8.3%, with more than 40 countries delivering double digit growth. The successful roll-out of Heineken® 0.0 continued and it is now available in 57 markets.
Our strategy continues to be growth oriented with an ever-increasing emphasis on the sustainability of this growth, both socially and environmentally. Over the past decade, we have lowered our water usage by almost a third to 3.4 hectolitres of water per hectolitre produced, ahead of our 2020 target. We increased the proportion of renewable energy in production to 19%. In more than 60 markets, we spent over 10% of Heineken® media budgets on responsible consumption awareness campaigns.
We closed the year with an operating profit (beia) organic growth of 3.9%. In a context of increased input costs, we have continued to work on the efficiency of our operations whilst steadily investing behind our brands, our sustainability agenda and our digital transformation.
Looking ahead to 2020, we expect our operating profit (beia) to grow by mid-single digit on an organic basis, barring major negative macro economic and political developments."