Heineken boosts sales worldwide, cuts costs

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Heineken

Heineken today reported organic revenue growth of 6.3 per cent
during the first half of 2006 compared to the previous year, held
up by strong US demand for the company's light beer and sales
increases in central and eastern Europe.

"Our performance over the first six months demonstrates that we are beginning to deliver against the four priorities I have set for the business, accelerating top-line growth, increasing efficiency, speeding up implementation and focusing on selected market opportunities,"​ stated company chief executive officer Jean-François van Boxmeer.

Heineken reported that net profit for the first half, excluding exceptionals, was €410m, a gain of 10.5 per cent. Organic net profit growth was 13.7 per cent for the period. Operating income was €726m, representing organic growth of 10.4 per cent.

The volume of beer sold grew by 11.6 per cent, to 62.8 million hectolitres. Organic growth accounted for 6.6 per cent. Consolidated beer volume amounted to 53.3 million hectolitres.

The company said the introduction of the Heineken Premium Light brand in the US exceeded expectations, with sales of over 300,000 hectolitres by the end of June.

Heineken expects that Heineken Premium Light will achieve more than 600,000 hectolitres sales in 2006, 50 per cent above its original forecast.

In Russia, the integration of the breweries acquired in 2005 is proceeding on schedule, Boxmeer stated.

He reported that a programme to reduce the fixed cost base by €200mn net of inflation by the end of 2008, is on track. The expected inflation on the fixed cost base over the period amounts to €160m. Heineken has identified concrete projects to achieve total savings of €360 million before tax by the end of 2008.

For the full-year 2006, Heineken expects to achieve between 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the gross savings in fixed costs. The related exceptional one-off costs before tax in 2006 are estimated at €60m to €75m. The company has already announced reorganisations in France and the Netherlands.

"Our focus on Russia remains strong,"​ Boxmeer stated. "Our volume performance, combined with our positive progress towards integration and our brand portfolio optimisation review, is a clear indication that we are on track to achieve our objectives for the market."

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