Heineken: higher prices and profits

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Dutch brewing concern Heineken intends to increase the price of its beer this year to reflect the increased costs of raw materials. The company is predicting a "low single figure percentage rise" in the prices of various materials it uses - from malt and hops to oil and aluminium - and plans to pass this on to the consumer.

Prices will go up in all the regions where Heineken beer is sold, although not by the same amount.

Heineken expects to increase its sales volume in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In so-called "mature markets" like Europe it will invest more in marketing and innovation. The brewery will also introduce new brands in Europe including Desperados and Strongbow cider.

Heineken performed better than expected last year. Discounting takeovers, profits increased by 19.7 percent. This was partly due to cost cutting measures totalling 280 million euros which will continue in 2011.


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