• Q1 EBIT before exceptional items up by "more than 20%" - no figure
  • Net sales up by 22% to EUR3.59bn (US$5.16bn)
  • Beer volume sales up by 44%
  • Excluding FEMSA Cerveza, net sales rose by 3.6%, with volumes up by 5.5%
Heinekens beer sales rise in Q1

Heineken's beer sales rise in Q1

Africa's thirst for beer has helped Heineken to claw back sales lost in the first quarter of 2010, while cost savings boosted profits.

Heineken's net sales rose by 22% to EUR3.59bn (US$5.16bn) for the three months to the end of March, the brewer said today (20 April), with volumes up by 44% versus the same period of last year.

Excluding the contribution of Mexican brewer FEMSA Cerveza, which is included in the results for the first time, Heineken's organic net sales increased by 3.6% in value and 5.5% in volume for the quarter.

The performance means that Heineken's core business has clawed back some ground lost in the same period of 2010. Africa proved particularly strong for the brewer, with volumes up by 13% for the three months.

Heineken does not release full profits figures for the first quarter, but it said that earnings before interest, tax and exceptional items rose by "more than 20%". Savings as part of the group's global 'Total Cost Management' programme contributed strongly to the increase in earnings, the group said.

Net profit before exceptional items "increased substantially", further boosted by lower interest charges, it added.

In its outlook, the group said that markets remain mixed: "Heineken remains confident in continued positive volume development in Latin America, Africa and Asia," the company said. "Whilst we are witnessing gradually improving economic conditions in a number of countries in Europe and in the USA, consumers remain cautious with their spending behaviour, particularly in on-trade channels."

For the full results announcement, click here.