Heineken released its Q1 trading update today

Heineken released its Q1 trading update today

This morning (24 April), Heineken released a trading update for its first quarter. Here, just-drinks takes a look at its group beer volumes performance on a regional basis.

Africa & the Middle East

Group beer volumes declined in the region by 4.3%, due to strong growth in the comparable prior-year period, continued soft consumer demand in Nigeria and the effect of an excise duty increase in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the fourth quarter of 2012, Heineken said. Volumes in Nigeria declined in the mid-single digits as high inflation placed pressure on household disposable incomes. Volumes in South Africa grew in the mid-single digits, led by the Amstel and Heineken brands, with a gain in market share. Volumes in Ethiopia increased in the double digits, Heineken said.

To read an interview with Heineken's Ethiopia GM Johan Doyer, click here.


Group beer volumes in the Americas declined by 2.4%. In Mexico, domestic volumes grew marginally because of “unfavourable weather”, Heineken said. In the US, sales to retailers declined in the low-single digits, outperforming the overall market and leading to market share gains. Volumes in Brazil declined in the mid-single digits, in line with the beer market.


Group beer volumes in Asia-Pacific grew 8% organically, driven by a low-double digit growth of Asia Pacific Breweries. There were volume gains in Vietnam, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. Volumes of United Breweries Limited, Heineken's joint-venture operation in India, increased in the low-single digits.

Central & Eastern Europe

Group beer volumes in the region declined by 3% organically. Volumes in Russia declined in the mid-single digits following new legislation banning the sale of alcoholic products in kiosks and a further excise duty increase. Volumes in Poland declined in the mid-single digits, impacted by adverse weather and low consumer confidence. Volumes in the Czech Republic grew in the low-single digits, while volumes in Austria and Romania were in line with the prior year quarter. In Greece, domestic beer volume was stable supported by the launch of Amstel Radler and growth of the Alfa brand, Heineken said.

Western Europe

In Western Europe, group beer volumes fell by 8.7% organically. “Severe” cold and wet weather conditions across key markets were compounded by the difficult economic conditions and government-imposed austerity measures that continued to impede consumer spending, Heineken said. Volumes in the UK, Italy, Netherlands and Spain all declined in the mid- to high-single digits.