Heineken raises forecasts

19th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 July 2007, AMSTERDAM (AP) - Heineken shares surged more than 8 percent Wednesday after the Dutch brewer said full-year profit in 2007 will increase 20 percent to 25 percent, doubling its earlier forecast of 10 percent to 13 percent growth.

19 July 2007

AMSTERDAM (AP) - Heineken shares surged more than 8 percent Wednesday after the Dutch brewer said full-year profit in 2007 will increase 20 percent to 25 percent, doubling its earlier forecast of 10 percent to 13 percent growth.

The reason: People around the world are drinking more beer. Global consumption of Heineken-owned brands increased 9.3 percent, the company said, or 8.3 percent excluding acquisitions.

Volume growth was very strong "in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia," the company said in a statement.

"Strong economies, favourable weather, increased demand for international premium beers" and Heineken's brand strength were also factors helping profits.

Heineken shares rose 8.2 percent to EUR 46.36 in Amsterdam.

The profit forecast is for "organic" growth, a measurement that excludes major acquisitions or disposals. The company's net profit in 2006 was EUR 1.21 billion due in part to a one-time gain of EUR 291 million after selling a brewery in Spain.

Heineken said "organic" profits in 2006 were around EUR 930 million.

Heineken Holding NV will report first-half earnings on 29 August and said it would decline further comment on earnings until then.

However, it also gave brief updates on its performance in all geographic regions, saying that wet weather in June had tempered a strong start to the year in Western Europe.

In the United States, a price increase of 3.5 percent meant less volume growth, but volumes and sales did rise. However, the company said it may miss a 1 million hectolitre target for sales of its newly introduced Premium Light beer.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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