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Analysis - Tiger takes bite out of brand Heineken

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Heineken's flagship beer brand has seen its volumes decline in the first half of the year as growth rates slowed in emerging markets, an analyst has said.

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In the first six months of 2013, brand Heineken volumes fell by 3%, compared to a 5.3% volums lift in full-year 2012, Nomura's Ian Shackleton said today (22 August). Volumes declined even after accounting for one fewer selling day in H1 and destocking in France and the US, Shackleton said.

“In Asia, the positioning of (Heineken's) Tiger brand has been recalibrated, which has led to weaker Heineken brand volumes,” Shackleton said. “In Africa, the slowdown is largely attributable to weakness in the Democratic Republic of Congo following the increase in excise at the end of 2012 and unrest in part of the country.”

In a call with analysts after the release of H1 results yesterday, Heineken chairman & CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer said the Dutch brewer has positioned Tiger as a mainstream brand in Asia so it does not compete against brand Heineken.

However, while Tiger has seen “a big growth rate of 40%” for Tiger in H1, van Boxmeer said, brand Heineken volumes in Asia Pacific dropped from 2% growth in FY 2012 to flat in H1. In Africa, the brand increased volumes by only 4% in H1 compared to a 16% rise in 2012.


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