• Third-quarter net profits flat at EUR525m (US$731m)
  • Net sales rise by 0.6% to EUR4.6bn
  • Operating profits (EBIT) slips, no specific figure given
  • Brewer reconfirms full-year guidance, net sales boosted by Nigeria acquisitions



Heineken has said that it is on track to meeting full-year profits guidance, despite seeing net sales come under pressure from currency in its fiscal third-quarter. 

Brewery acquisitions in Nigeria, together with beer price rises and continued growth for the Heineken lager brand, helped the group to increase net sales by 0.6% for the three months to the end of September, to EUR4.6bn (US$6.4bn). On an organic basis, excluding currency swings, net sales rose by 3% on the same period of last year.

Despite higher net sales, which were backed by a 2.7% rise in beer volumes, Heineken reported lower earnings before interest and tax for the quarter. It did not provide specific figures. Net profits, meanwhile, were flat at EUR525m.

The brewer reaffirmed previous guidance that full-year net profits will be "broadly in-line" with last year, prior to one-off costs. It also reaffirmed its target of achieving EUR150m in annual synergies from the acquisition of Mexico's FEMSA Cerveza by the end of 2013. 

Western Europe again proved a drag on results in the third quarter, with Heineken's volume sales in the region falling by 1.7% for the three months, a decline that the brewer largely blamed on poor summer weather. For the first nine months of 2011, group volumes in Western Europe were flat.

Heineken's overall volume sales for the nine months increased by 16% to 124.7m hectolitres on a reported basis, inflated by acquisitions. On an organic basis, volumes rose by 3.2% for the period.

For the company's announcement, click here.