Heinekens Q1 was helped by  its performance in the Americas and Africa and the Middle East

Heineken's Q1 was helped by its performance in the Americas and Africa and the Middle East

Earlier today Heineken reported a slight rise in first-quarter sales, as a solid performance in its Africa & Middle East and Americas units offset on-going problems in Russia. Here just-drinks takes a closer look at the numbers by region: 

  • Sales in Western Europe on an organic basis rose by 1.8% to EUR1.52bn. Beer volumes rose by 2.1% organically to 8.3m hectolitres. Volume growth was led by the Netherlands, France, Spain, Ireland and Belgium. However, this was offset by falling volumes in the UK, Italy and Switzerland. UK volumes in the quarter were hit by the the timing of Easter and “unfavourable weather conditions”, Heineken said.
  • The Americas saw sales rise 8.7% organically to EUR989m. Beer volumes rose by 2.9% on an organic basis to 11.7m hl. Sales per hectolitre grew by 6%, driven by higher pricing in Brazil and Mexico. Brazil saw double-digit volume growth helped by “improved economic conditions, favourable weather and better sales execution”, the company said. In the US, sales to retailers fell by 1.2%, with the company blaming the timing of Easter and bad weather early in the quarter.
  • Heineken reported a 4.6% rise in organic sales to EUR628m in Africa and Middle East in Q1. Group beer volumes climbed by 8.7% on an organic basis, helped by “strong growth” across most of the region's key markets. In Nigeria, volumes increased by low double-digits, helped by “solid growth” in the “affordability and premium segments”, the company said. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Algeria and Rwanda also saw volumes gains for Heineken. However, in South Africa, a high single-digit drop was blamed on a “challenging economic environment and increased competitive intensity”.
  • Sales in Central and Eastern Europe fell by 2.4% organically to EUR562m. Beer volumes slipped by 5.1% to 9m hl. Worst hit was Russia, where volumes fell in the “mid-teens” due to “continued challenging beer market conditions”, the group said. Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic also saw volume drops, but this was partly offset by higher volumes in Greece, Slovakia, Croatia, Germany and Serbia.
  • First-quarter sales in Asia-Pacific, on an organic basis, were flat at EUR444m. Beer volumes were also flat at 4m hl. Heineken pointed to strong comparable growth in the prior year from its Asia Pacific Breweries unit. The group also blamed “lower consumer spending from softer economic conditions and excise tax increases in some key markets”. Volumes grew in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, China, South Korea, Mongolia and the Pacific Islands. Offsetting this was a drop in volumes in Vietnam, New Zealand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Taiwan. Volumes in India were flat, the company said.