Heineken sees beer volumes slip

22 April, 2009

Heineken has reported a decline in global beer volumes in the first quarter of 2009, and has warned that the UK market continues to be under pressure.

But the Dutch brewer added that cider volumes in the UK “grew strongly”. The company is now the ultimate brand owner of Scottish & Newcastle’s former Bulmers portfolio, including the market-leading Strongbow.

In a trading update issued today (April 22), Heineken said: “Consolidated beer volume grew 12%, due to the first-time consolidation of Scottish & Newcastle and other acquired businesses.

“Organically, consolidated beer volume declined 6.3% as lower volumes in Europe and the Americas were only partly offset by continued strong volume growth in Africa and, to a lesser extent, Asia-Pacific.”

Organically, Heineken’s revenues declined by 1% due to lower volumes and unfavourable exchange rate movements, though it said that “better pricing” had been a positive influence.

The company said it would continue to find ways of reducing debt, improving the performance of S&N, and maintaining the price positioning of key brands.

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