Dutch brewery group Heineken sold less beer during the last quarter, but price increases kept the growth going. In the meantime, the brewer is taking steps to leave Russia.
More than offset
Heineken achieved net sales of 6.4 billion euros in the last quarter: this is a considerable increase of 8.9 % compared to the previous year and a remarkable performance considering that the brewer sold 3.1 % less beer. Although volume was down, Heineken earned 12.3 % more per hectolitre.
The net profit did fall, however, from 417 million euros a year ago to 403 million euros today. The beer producer had predicted that operating profit would grow by 5 to 9 % this year, but this growth would only start in the second half of the year.
Three concerns remain
For the time being, three very different countries continue to worry Heineken: Nigeria, Russia and Vietnam. In Vietnam, sales have fallen by more than 20 % due to the country’s macroeconomic difficulties. The expected recovery from the pandemic is still pending. In Nigeria, sales fell by more than 10 %, due to the government’s decision to withdraw old banknotes from circulation.
In Russia, Heineken found itself in the eye of a PR storm when it became apparent that the company was still marketing new beers in the country. The brewery group had previously said it would leave the country upon the invasion of Ukraine. Now the company claims it is taking further steps to sell its Russian business.