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Heineken holds bang all year long with a third quarter upside

Turnover from July to September +2%, revenues +4.5%: the Stock Exchange rewards the stock

Heineken keeps the forecast for the fiscal year. All it took was this announcement that Heineken’s shares rose to 1,3% on the stock exchange. Thanks, we said, to the maintenance of the forecasts for the whole year that have effectively overshadowed the warning launched on the basis of the difficult economic conditions of some markets that could weigh on consumer demand for its beers in 2024.

The Dutch producer said in these hours that he earned more in the third quarter even if customers bought less beer: this was due to the increase in prices and the choice of more expensive lagers. Revenues for the third quarter were up 2% to 9,6 billion Euro on the same period of 2022 and 4.7% from the beginning of the year (the figure from the beginning of the year is 27 billion Euro). 

Net revenues rose to over 8 billion Euro, 4,5% more than a year earlier (and 5,8% since january): the figure was slightly below the expectations of analysts who expected an increase of 4,8%. Beer volumes fell by 4,2%, slightly less than analysts' forecasts. The effects of the consolidation contributed 276 million Euro mainly due to the integration of Distell and Namibian Breweries.

Based on these data Heineken maintains its forecast of increase of the operating profit for the entire 2023 comprised between zero and a percentage to an average figure.

That being said, cfo Harold van den Broek has put his hands up by pointing out that difficult economic conditions in some markets threaten consumer demand until 2024: this, warns the manager, could hinder Heineken’s volume growth in the next financial year. "I don’t want to talk about a general slowdown in our business", said van den Broek, adding that there are specific markets to keep an eye on: among them, Nigeria and Vietnam, both key markets for the company, where economic conditions were already dragging down volumes, but also Malaysia and Cambodia, where there were worrying trends. Also in Poland Heineken has recorded a decrease in sales, while in Italy consumers continue to buy the most expensive Heineken beers, even if they do so especially during the promotions.

The news pleased investors who feared that Heineken would have to reduce his guidance again for the whole year. "We continue to focus on our priorities and see a gradual improvement in our business performance, even if a little slower than our ambitions -explains the ceo-. In half of our markets, volumes are improving. We are growing again in terms of volumes in the Americas, with excellent performances in Brazil and Mexico".

"Asia-Pacific has improved despite the continuing difficulties in Vietnam -van den Broek stresses-. Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe suffered from declining volumes in Nigeria and South Africa. In Europe, after the impact of the adverse weather conditions in july and august, the trends improved: in September and we gained shares in most of our markets in the on-trade sector, while we still have to recover in the off-trade sector". 

"Our eB2B platforms captured 8 billion Euro of gross merchandise value at the end of this quarter, 22% more than last year -adds the manager-. Our productivity program remains fully online. As price inflation is falling, we see a slowdown in consumer demand in various markets facing difficult macroeconomic conditions. In this context, we will maintain our strategy, remain vigilant about costs and focus on rebalancing our growth. Overall, the reference range for operating profit for 2023 remains unchanged".

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EFA News - European Food Agency