Heineken reports beer sales leap with Mexican acquisition

27th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Dutch brewer Heineken said on Wednesday it sold 24 percent more beer in the third quarter, compared to last year, mainly owing to its acquisition of Mexican firm FEMSA.

Sales grew by 13.0 percent to 4.6 billion euros (6.4 billion dollars), it said in a statement. But underlying beer consumption was weakened by cold weather, hangover from the economic downturn and austerity measures.

Heineken said it had started including the results of FEMSA, Latin America's biggest brewer with brands such as Sol and Dos Equis, in its own results as from May 1.

Including FEMSA, which Heineken said in January it would buy for 5.3 billion euros, third-quarter beer volume grew 421 percent to 12.8 million hectolitres in the Americas -- out of a total 43.8 million hectolitres.

Net profit for the quarter was 520 million euros, an organic growth rate "slightly above 10 percent", the company said.

Heineken confirmed its target of keeping net benefit growing at a rate above 10 percent, a company spokesman told AFP.

The company said that so-called organic measures, which exclude the effects of recent acquisitions and sales of Heineken subsidiaries, beer volumes declined by 2.2 percent and sales by 2.1 percent.

Less beer was sold in western Europe owing to the cold weather, in Greece "where beer consumption was affected by austerity measures", and in the United States "where the economic environment continues to affect beer consumption".

But volumes grew in Africa and the Middle East, said the statement.

The Dutch brewer, founded in the 19th century in Amsterdam, produces and sells more than 200 beer and cider labels including its namesake brand Heineken, Amstel, Cruzcampo, Birra Moretti, Foster's, Strongbow and Tiger.

It is Europe's biggest brewer, and the world's third biggest by volume. It employed about 55,300 people worldwide in 2009.

© 2010 AFP

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