Heineken suspends operations in Egypt

Heineken suspends operations in Egypt

Heineken has suspended beer and soft drinks operations in Egypt due to widespread political protests against the country's president, Hosni Mubarak.

Heineken confirmed to just-drinks today (31 January) that it has temporarily closed its six facilities in Egypt, including two breweries, two soft drinks plants, a maltings and a winery. The brewer last night flew ex-patriot exployees out of the country amid escalating tension between protesters and security forces.

Mass protests against the Government have taken place in Egypt over the last week and these are set to continue amid signs that President Mubarak's resistance to political reform has weakened.

"To date, there has been no unrest at our facilities," said the Heineken spokesperson. The group employs 2,400 people in Egypt, but the country only accounts for 1.2m hectolitres of the group's global annual volumes of around 165m hectoltres.  

"The impact in financial terms is going to be minimal, but, because of the number of employees, we have significant operations there," said the spokesperson. Heineken has told its employees in the country to stay at home for their own safety.