Hot summer boosts Heineken beer sales


Dutch brewing giant Heineken posted Wednesday a 7.5 percent rise in global beer sales for the third quarter, boosted by warm summer weather in Europe and high-profile sponsorships.

The Amsterdam-based brewer said it sold in July through September 51.2 million hectolitres of beer, which roughly equates to more than 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Turnover amounted to 5.5 billion euros ($6.08 billion).

“Consolidated beer volume grew by 5.4 percent organically in the quarter, led by strong volume in Europe supported by favorable summer weather and continued growth in the Americas and Asia-Pacific region,” Heineken said.

Sales were particularly up in the Americas including in the United States, where Heineken has bought a 50 percent stake in beer maker Lagunitas hoping to cash in on the globally-rocketing popularity of craft beers.

Valued at around 35 billion euros, Heineken is Europe’s largest and the world’s third-largest brewer after SABMiller and global number one AB InBev, which are currently in takeover talks.

AB InBev is scheduled to release its third quarter sales information on Friday, and SABMiller next Thursday.

Heineken provides only half-year and annual profit figures.

Chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said Heineken’s “strong performance in the third quarter is consistent with our earlier guidance that volume would be weighted to the second half of the year.”

Heineken produces and sells more than 200 brands including Desperados tequila-flavoured beer, Sol and Strongbow cider and employs nearly 70,000 people around the world.

Growth was also supported by advertising campaigns and sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup, Heineken said.

“The latest James Bond movie sponsorship … should enhance the Heineken brand equity as well as provide an exciting platform to leverage the brand locally,” it added.

“Spectre” featuring Daniel Craig as the ultra suave MI6 spy 007 in what is Bond’s 24th outing since the first “Dr. No” in 1962, premiered on Monday.

Sales however dipped in Russia and Belarus, as well as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi, while volume growth remained flat elsewhere in Africa including in Nigeria, Ethiopia Algeria, Egypt and Rwanda.

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