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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with German
20 April, 2022

Brewing news World: Heineken delivers first-quarter sales ahead of analysts’ estimates

Heineken NV, the world’s second-largest brewer, delivered first-quarter beer sales ahead of estimates as customers returned to pubs, bars and restaurants across Europe despite having to pay more for their pints.

Beer volumes rose 5.2% on an organic basis, better than the 4.6% average analyst estimate, the Dutch brewer said in a statement on April 20. Revenue soared by more than a third, mainly driven by price increases. The stock rose as much as 5% in early Amsterdam trading.

Heineken reiterated its outlook for modest growth this year as a rebound in demand is clouded by Russia’s war in Ukraine and rising supply-chain costs. Chief Executive Officer Dolf van den Brink warned of economic uncertainty and “additional inflationary headwinds” in the months ahead and indicated the company may raise prices further.

“We expect mounting inflationary pressures to impact household disposable income and a consequent risk to beer consumption later in the year,” the company said, echoing comments made earlier this year.

The beermaker in February flagged that it was facing the worst inflation in a decade and said consumers may cut back on beer, threatening the industry’s recovery from the pandemic. But the company’s first-quarter performance, which was especially strong in Europe, sets a bullish tone for rivals Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and Carlsberg A/S, which report results in coming weeks.

The Dutch brewer reported net profit of 417 million euros ($451 million) for the quarter, up from 168 million euros a year earlier. “Top-line growth is the key driver of this strong performance,” Edward Mundy and Jaina Mistry, analysts at Jefferies, wrote in a note.

Heineken has previously said it expects an impairment of 400 million euros due to its retreat from Russia amid the war in Ukraine. Carlsberg the largest brewer in Russia’s $16 billion market, has also pledged to exit the country.

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