Business 31.7.2017 10:38 am

Heineken profits bubble amid warm weather

Heineken is the world's second-largest brewer after global number one AB InBev clinched a mega deal for its nearest rival SABMiller in November 2015

Heineken is the world's second-largest brewer after global number one AB InBev clinched a mega deal for its nearest rival SABMiller in November 2015

Dutch brewing giant Heineken on Monday reported a 48.6 percent leap in first half profits, with beer sales boosted by warm weather in Europe and its new zero alcohol brand.

Profits were up to 871 million euros ($1.02 billion) in the first half of 2017 compared to 586 million euros over the same period in 2016, the company said in a statement.

“We delivered strong results in the first half year, with all four regions contributing positively to organic growth in volume, revenue and operating profit,” chief executive officer Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said.

Europe in particular “delivered a good performance,” he remarked in a statement, with the company noting the “particularly good weather” in the region.

Total sales in the first six months of 2017 were up 3.8 percent to 10.47 billion euros, compared to 10.09 billion in the same period last year.

“After a slower first quarter given Easter timing, the earlier Tet Vietnamese New Year and tough comparatives, all regions saw higher organic volume growth in the second quarter,” the Amsterdam-based company said.

The company’s promising new brand, alcohol-free ‘Heineken 0.0’ was launched in May 2017 in 16 markets

Its new brand Heineken 0.0 was launched in the second quarter in 16 markets, and the company said it “already looks promising”.

“Overall in Europe, there was double digit growth for low and no alcohol volume, including strong performance in Spain, Netherlands, Poland and Austria,” it said.

The company warned however that “economic conditions are expected to remain volatile” and it expected to continue to be hit by the “negative impact” of currency fluctuations.

Heineken is the world’s second-largest brewer after global number one AB InBev clinched a mega deal for its nearest rival SABMiller in November 2015. It was the third biggest takeover in global corporate history.

The company also announced that it had completed on May 31 its acquisition of the Brazilian unit of Japanese brewer Kirin for 594 million euros.

Founded in the 19th century, Heineken produces and sells more than 250 brands including Desperados tequila-flavoured beer, Sol and Strongbow cider. It employs over 80,000 people and operates in 70 countries around the world.

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