• Q1 net profits (reported) slip 37% to EUR143m (US$197.8m)
  • Net sales (organic) up 3.4% to EUR4.04bn
  • Q1  beer volumes up 1.5% at 38.2m hectolitres 
  • FY guidance reaffirmed   
The Dutch group said Q1 sales were up on an organic basis

The Dutch group said Q1 sales were up on an organic basis

Heineken has reported a sharp fall in first-quarter net profits, but has reaffirmed its full-year outlook as sales rose in the period.

In a trading update today (24 April), the Dutch brewer said that net profits on a reported basis in the three months to the end of March fell by 37% to EUR143m  (US$197.8m). Last year, Heineken's Q1 was boosted by the integration of the newly-acquired Asia Pacific Breweries

In this year's Q1, group sales rose 3.4% on an organic basis to EUR4.04bn. However, on a consolidated basis, sales were down by 2.6%. First-quarter group beer volumes rose 1.5% on an organic basis.

Heineken flagged that its consolidated sales were affected by the divestement of its Hartwall business in Finland and “unfavourable” currency exchange rates.

Group volumes were boosted by “improvements” in Africa, Middle East, Western Europe and the Americas regions. Volumes in the premium segment rose by 8%. 

In the Americas, sales grew 8.7% on an organic basis, helped by a strong performance in Brazil. However, Central and Eastern Europe was hit by a volume drop in the "mid-teens" in Russia. 

Jean-François van Boxmeer, Heineken's chairman & CEO, said the encouraging performance in some regions is “offsetting continued challenging beer market conditions in Russia and softer consumer spending in Vietnam.”

He added: “Whilst economic conditions remain mixed, we will continue to invest in our portfolio of brands, drive further cost savings and fully leverage the benefits of our balanced global footprint.” 

Shares this morning were trading down 1.7% in Amsterdam at EUR50.30.

To read the company's full announcement, click here.