By Geoff Percival
Shares in European beer manufacturers Heineken and Carlsberg are relatively flat despite both reporting solid sales growth.
Heineken said it increased beer sales in all of its global regions in the third quarter of the year. Consolidated beer volumes rose 4.6%, on a year-on-year basis, to 62.6 million hectolitres.
The figure was broadly in line with analysts’ average expectation of 62.5 million hectolitres.
“Volume growth continued in the third quarter, benefiting from good weather in Europe and strong growth in Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam and South Africa,” chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said.
Heineken makes the likes of Tiger, Sol, Amstel and the Heineken brand itself, which is Europe’s top-selling lager. It said reported net profit for the first nine months of the year was up nearly 7.4% to just over €1.6bn.
Sales of Heineken lager rose 9.2% with particularly strong growth noted in Brazil, South Africa, France and Russia. Sales were down in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as parts of Africa; including key market Nigeria.
There is no breakdown available for Ireland, where Heineken is also market leader and where company veteran Maarten Schuurman took over as managing director last month.
Heineken’s Irish portfolio also includes Coors Light, Cork-based stouts Beamish and Murphy’s, craft beer label Cute Hoor, and cider brands Appleman’s and Orchard Thieves.
Heineken’s share price was down over 0.5% yesterday. The company said its expectations for the full year were unchanged. It cut its full-year margin forecast in July due to currency weakness in some profitable markets, and said its operating profit margin would decline by 20 basis points this year.
Meanwhile, Danish brewer Carlsberg lifted its full-year outlook, citing its ‘efficiency programme’ and after a warm summer in western Europe helped sales, among other factors.
The brewer said it now expects organic operating profit growth of 10% to 11% this year, up from an earlier guidance of “high-single-digit percentage growth”. Its shares rose marginally.
Additional reporting Reuters