Focus - Heineken's YTD Performance by Region
Earlier today, Heineken reported a fall in Q3 net profits and flat sales in the first nine months of 2013. Here, just-drinks takes a closer look at the group's performance by region:
Africa Middle East
In the three months to the end of September, sales in the region fell by 3% year-on-year on a 6% drop in volumes. Non-beer volumes were down by double digits, due to the "planned discontinuation" of certain SKU’s in the soft drink and water categories in Egypt and Tunisia.
Social unrest in Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo also hampered the brewer. Nigeria proved problematic, with consumer spending hit by inflationary pressures, tight credit conditions and high unemployment. But, South Africa proved a bright spot, with a lift in volumes in the low single-digits.
Sales in the Americas were up by 2% in the quarter, although volumes dipped by 2%. Brazil was the main culprit, with ongoing economic uncertainty in the country resulting in a high single-digit fall in volumes. While hurricanes in Mexico last month depressed volumes, sales to both wholesalers and retailers in the US were "broadly stable" in Q3. Although brand Heineken volumes were down in the country, Dos Equis, Tecate Light and Strongbow posted "strong double-digit" volume growth.
Quarterly volumes in Asia Pacific rose by 2% year-on-year, thanks to "solid volume performances" in Vietnam, Indonesia, China and Papua New Guinea. However, India delivered lower volumes due to a longer-than-expected monsoon season and a hit from the introduction of regulatory changes in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Brand Heineken performed well in China and South Korea in Q3, while the Tiger brand posted a 20% leap in volumes.
Central & Eastern Europe
Heineken was particularly badly hit in Q3 in Russia, Romania and Greece, where lower consumer spending took its toll. Also, poor weather across the region hampered results. Volumes in Russia and Greece were down by double digits, while Romanian volumes were "significantly lower". Polish volumes inched up, while Austria, Germany and Serbia all performed well in the quarter.
Regionally, sales fell by 4% in value terms and by 7% in volume terms in the three-month period.
The company saw Western Europe deliver a "solid recovery" in Q3, with beer volumes increasing by 2% on a 1% lift in sales value. The UK, Netherlands, France and Spain were highlighted as performing well, although Italy, Belgium and Switzerland posted declining volumes. "‘Radler’ flavour brand extensions, launched earlier this year in nine markets in the region, continued to gain consumer traction," said Heineken.
Depsite the upbeat numbers, the company warned that Western Europe continues to challenge due to "a difficult economic backdrop and the impact of austerity measures".
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