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April 25, 2003

HOLLAND: Heineken retiterates growth prospects

The Dutch brewing giant Heineken has reiterated that it expects further net profit growth in 2003, despite the growing global uncertainty.

The Dutch brewing giant Heineken has reiterated that it expects further net profit growth in 2003, despite the growing global uncertainty.


The effect on the economy from the SARS virus in Asia and the uncertainty in the middle east were all of concern. Meanwhile a hike in pension costs in the UK and a weak US dollar would cost the company €60m on its operating earnings.


But Chief executive Anthony Ruys said at the group’s AGM: “Despite this €60m and the uncertainties surrounding economic trends, we expect a further growth in net profit in 2003, with the recently acquired breweries making a positive contribution.”


The forecasts follow a similar announcement in February, when Heineken predicted growth in 2003, having unveiled 2002 net profits of €795m, up 11.2% on 2001. But that was before the war in Iraq and the outbreak of SARS.


The impact of the U.S.-led war in Iraq and the outbreak of the SARS disease could not be predicted, Ruys said.

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