JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Heineken cuts 2023 forecast as price hikes squeeze sales, Vietnam weighs

Heineken cuts 2023 forecast as price hikes squeeze sales, Vietnam weighs

Monday, July 31, 2023, 16:42 GMT+7
Heineken cuts 2023 forecast as price hikes squeeze sales, Vietnam weighs
Glasses of Heineken beer are seen at a restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam May 30, 2019. Photo: Reuters

BRUSSELS -- Heineken, the world's second-largest brewer, cut its 2023 profit growth forecast on Monday after an economic slowdown in Vietnam and price hikes squeezed sales volumes, depressing first-half earnings by more than expected.

The Dutch company, which owns brands including Tiger and Sol, said it now expected operating profit growth before one-offs this year to be between zero and a mid-single-digit percentage. It had previously forecast a mid- to high- single-digit percentage.

Heineken shares fell as much as 6.4% in early trading to their lowest level since February at 90.66 euros, the weakest performer on the FTSEurofirst index of leading European blue chips.

Brewers profited late last year from drinkers' willingness to pay higher prices but inflation has since eaten into disposable incomes, prompting some shoppers to seek out cheaper alternatives to branded food.

In the first half, Heineken sold 5.6% less beer, with declines in all regions. Over half of the drop was due to Vietnam and Nigeria, with price increases also having an impact.

Despite a jump in revenue, Heineken suffered a 8.8% like-for-like decline in operating profit, compared with an average 4.8% drop forecast in a company-compiled poll.

Heineken - whose namesake brand is Europe's top-selling beer - said it expected a strong second-half turnaround, helped by lower energy and commodity costs and accelerated savings from productivity improvements. The timing of price hikes would also have an impact.

"We have taken the vast majority of our pricing in the first half. That was deliberate and by design. That of course impacted to some extent the volume performance in the first half, but in the second half we see that effect moderating," Chief Executive Dolf van den Brink told Reuters.

Chief Financial Officer Harold van den Broek said Heineken saw inflationary pressure easing, but not necessarily lower costs, so did not envisage a reversal of beer price hikes.

Heineken said its results had been affected by an economic slowdown in Vietnam, one of the company's largest markets, which is facing reduced global demand for its exports.

Beer volumes in the Asia-Pacific region fell by 13.2% with more expensive premium beers down by even more. Operating profit reduced by about a third.

The situation was exacerbated by an excess of stock built-up for the Tet new year festivities in Vietnam in January, but Heineken said this overhang was now largely cleared.

Heineken also expected more stability in Nigeria in the second half, where presidential elections and a switch to new bank notes led to a more than 20% decline of beer sales.



Read more




‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Latest news