Cold winter helps take fizz out of Heineken Q1 profits
By Agence France-Presse
Dutch brewing giant Heineken Wednesday posted an 11 percent drop in first quarter profits, with the cold winter taking the cheer out of the European market.
But Heineken chairman Jean-Francois van Boxmeer pledged the Amsterdam-based company’s “full year guidance remains unchanged” and global sales were up 4.3 percent in the first three months.
Net profits dropped to 260 million euros ($321 million), compared with 293 million euros in the same period in 2017.
“Performance in the first quarter was in line with expectations, with volume growth benefiting from an earlier timing of Easter this year and a slow start last year,” Boxmeer said in a statement.
But he acknowledged that “in Europe, volumes were negatively impacted by cold weather across the region.”
Founded in the 19th century, Heineken produces and sells more than 250 brands including Desperados tequila-flavoured beer, Sol, John Smith’s and Strongbow cider and employs about 80,000 people in 70 countries around the world.
It announced a range of different acquisitions last year, including Punch Taverns in Britain and Brasil Kirin in Brazil, as well as Lagunitas in the US.
In February, Heineken warned that 2018 will “continue to be marked by volatility and uncertainty” and it warned of a “negative impact from currency compared to 2017… as foreign exchange markets remain very volatile.”
The Asia-Pacific region however helped keep beers sales buoyant in the first three months, up some 11.3 percent overall, and with double digit growth in Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia.