Andy Morton

just On Call - Heineken happy to dodge China mainstream - CEO

By | 13 February 2013

Heineken has a “low appetite” for China's mainstream beer sector and will continue to concentrate on the premium end of the market, the head of the Dutch brewer has said.

In a conference call after the release of Heineken's full-year results, chairman & CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer said today (13 February) that the company is shedding all of its JVs in mainstream beer in the country and focusing on premium “segment leadership”. “We will concentrate on the premium end, like the way we do in the US,” van Boxmeer said in a call with analysts.

His comments follow a study last week that claimed international brewers face a futile chase for profits in China despite volumes growth predictions. Market leaders Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller may not turn a healthy profit in China until 2020, the study said.

Heineken distributes its namesake brand and Tiger in China through its JV with Asia Pacific Breweries, and in 2011 opened a plant in Guangzhou dedicated to manufacturing the brands.

A company spokesperson told just-drinks that Heineken does not release country breakdowns for its brands but said Heineken and Tiger enjoyed “strong growth” in China last year.

Heineken has spent the past few years pulling out of China's mainstream beer market. In 2011, it sold its share in Kingway, a share that was eventually snapped up by SABMiller JV China Resources Snow Breweries. Also in 2011, Heineken offloaded its stake in Jiangsu DaFuHao Breweries, also to China Resources Snow.

Van Boxmeer also said that a recent review of its Finland unit is a one-off strategic move and not an indicator of a broader review of its European businesses. Earlier this month, Heineken confirmed that it has launched a strategic review of its Hartwall unit in Helsinki.

Earlier today, Heineken posted healthy rises in profits and sales for 2012. Group volumes also increased, by 3.4%, and international sales of brand Heineken were up by 5.3%.

For just-drinks' coverage of Heineken's full-year results, click here.

Expert analysis

Global Beer Tax Tables, 2012

This report covers 58 markets and comprises a series of tables covering taxation base, historical excise rates, legal controls and a calculation of the total taxation burden on beer.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Emerging markets – BRIC

Companies: Heineken, SABMiller, Anheuser-Busch InBev

There are currently no comments on this article

Be the first to comment on this article

Related research

SABMiller plc : Consumer Packaged Goods - Company Profile, SWOT & Financial Report

Canadean's "SABMiller plc : Consumer Packaged Goods - Company Profile, SWOT & Financial Report" contains in depth information and data about the company and its operations. The profile contains a company overview, key facts, major products and servic...

Heineken: the battle for Asia Pacific Breweries

Asia Pacific Breweries is Heineken’s joint venture in Singapore, with a variety of brands and consumer beverages that enjoy prominence in their local markets. The venture is crucial to the firm's growth strategy. This has been compromised following a...

Heineken N.V. : Consumer Packaged Goods - Company Profile, SWOT & Financial Report

Canadean's "Heineken N.V. : Consumer Packaged Goods - Company Profile, SWOT & Financial Report" contains in depth information and data about the company and its operations. The profile contains a company overview, key facts,major products and service...

Related articles

just the Round-Up - The week in drinks

The top ten stories published on just-drinks this week:

US: Phusion Projects appoints president to lead expansion

Phusion Projects has promoted one of its executive team to head up the company as it eyes expansion.

US: Angry Orchard, Budweiser Black Crown get distribution boost

Boston Beer Co's hard cider brand, Angry Orchard, saw the biggest jump in US on-trade distribution in the first half of 2013, followed by Anheuser-Busch InBev's Budweiser Black Crown, according to latest figures.

Read more on this hot issue

Round-Up - Heineken's Full-Year Results, 2012

Heineken released its full-year results on 13 February. Here is just-drinks' full coverage of the numbers, analysts' reaction and the company's conference call.

Read further items in this columns

just On Call

We report back from drinks companies' conference calls post-results announcement.

just-drinks tagline

Not a member? Join here

Decrease font sizeDecrease font sizeDecrease font size Increase font sizeIncrease font sizeIncrease font size Comment on this article Email this to a friend Print this page