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Bottles of Heineken/AFP

Finance

Heineken says beer sales down as crisis rolls on

Bottles of Heineken/AFP

Bottles of Heineken/AFP

THE HAGUE, Oct 23 – Dutch brewer Heineken posted a lower-than-expected profit outlook for 2013 after earnings fell by 15.0 percent year-on-year for the third quarter, blaming this on continuing economic crisis in countries such as Greece.

“Heineken now expects 2013 net profit to decline in the low single digits on an organic basis,” the Amsterdam-based group said in a statement.

“Underlying trading conditions across Europe remains challenging, as evidenced by a weak consumer environment in central and eastern Europe in the third quarter,” it added.

This included Russia, Romania and in Greece where “renewed political uncertainty and continued adverse economic conditions led to a double-digit decline.”

Heineken posted net profit of 483 million euros for the third quarter compared to 568 million ($664 million) year-on-year.

Before revising its figures, Heineken was banking on a 2013 net profit “broadly in line” with last year’s 2.9 billion euros.

Although it did not predict a year-end profit figure, Heineken warned that the recent strength of the euro against key developing market currencies would further slash gains by around 40 million euros.

“As a consequence, we are accelerating efforts to drive improved efficiencies particularly in Europe through restructuring and other cost related initiatives,” Heineken chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said.

“We remain confident that our broad geographic spread and strong brand portfolio will continue to support long-term growth for Heineken,” he added.

One of the world’s top five brewers, Heineken was founded in the 19th century and produces and sells more than 200 brands of beer and cider including Heineken and Amstel beer and Strongbow cider.

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