Saturday, 30 September, 2023

Heineken profits slide as beer price hikes curb enthusiasm

Heineken profits slide as beer price hikes curb enthusiasm

Popular News

THE HAGUE: Dutch brewer Heineken said Monday that price increases it made to counter the impact of soaring inflation had battered beer sales and pushed down profits in the first half of the year.

Net profit slumped 8.6 percent to 589 million euros ($649 million), as beer volumes fell 5.6 percent from the same period last year.

The world's second-largest brewer had warned the price hikes were needed to offset high commodity and energy costs, due in large part to Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine, reports AFP.

Like other major Western companies, Heineken pledged last year to quit Russia, but drew criticism earlier this year after a Dutch investigative website reported that it was continuing its Russian sales.

The company apologised in March for creating "ambiguity" on its vow to leave the country, saying it was hoping to secure jobs for its Russian employees but struggling to find a buyer for its Russian business.

In April, Heineken said it was still seeking approval for a sale of its Russian operations.

Besides the impact of falling Russian sales, the company also cited weak demand in Vietnam and Nigeria as well as "soft" markets in the Americas so far this year.

It expects inflation to ease in the coming months, which should allow it to moderate the recent beer price increases.

But Heineken nonetheless warned of "short-term challenges given the volatile economic context, with the slowdown of the economy in some countries and unprecedented inflation levels".

For the full year, it forecast stable to single-digit growth of operating profit on a like-for-like basis, after an 8.8 percent drop in the first half, to 1.9 billion euros.