Heineken unveils strong earnings

Half of all pints pulled in Ireland are produced by Heineken the company said as they announced strong full-year earnings despite falling sales in Western Europe.

The company, which produces Beamish Stout, Murphy’s Stout, Coors Light, Amstel and Fosters among its beer portfolio, said its Irish operation, which employs 550 people, achieved a turnover of €464m last year.

Ireland followed the international trends with volume of beer sold here declining by nearly 1.8% last year compared to 2012.

The CEO of Heineken Ireland, David Forde, said that the company continues to increase market share.

“Heineken Ireland has once again delivered a very positive performance for 2012 which has seen us grow our market share in both volume and value terms.

“Our sustained, high impact commercial programmes have delivered growth across our key brands and helped Heineken Ireland extend its leadership within the lager market,” he said.

The portfolio of beers hold a 45% value share of the lager market in Ireland and in the pub trade sector they account for 53% of beers sold.

Heineken said that lager was replacing stout and ale and is now the main beer of choice for the Irish consumer, commanding a 65% share of the total beer market, with stout declining to 30%.

Globally Heineken NV, reported full-year earnings that beat estimates as cost savings offset weaker beer shipments in western Europe.

Earnings before interest and tax, excluding some items, rose to €2.9bn from €2.7bn a year earlier, the Amsterdam-based brewer beat the estimate of 10 analysts who forecasts a profit of €2.85bn.

The brewer cut €196m of costs in 2012 through changes to the way it buys raw goods and services.

Profitability will improve in 2013, the company said, as volume and revenue continue to advance, with African, Latin American and Asia Pacific markets offsetting weakness in Europe.

“Earnings growth is driven by emerging markets and the cost savings,” Richard Withagen, an analyst at SNS Securities, wrote in a note.

“We expect this to continue in 2013,” he said.

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