Heineken sales drop after Asian arm hit by lockdowns

Brewing giant Heineken has revealed that sales in the third quarter fell more than expected following the impact of lockdowns in Asia, while its UK operations were affected by supply disruption.

The Dutch firm, which also brews Birra Moretti and Amstel, said like-for-like volumes of beer sold dropped by 5.1%.

Chairman and chief executive Dolf Van Den Brink said this came after the business was “deeply impacted” by the Covid-19 pandemic in its Asia Pacific region.

Heineken also told investors that its European operation saw beer volumes decline organically by 2.3% for the quarter.

It said this was due to the impact of poor weather across most of the period, with high-single digit declines in its off-trade division, which covers supermarket and retail sales.

In the UK, total volumes declined by “low single digits”, in line with the rest of the market, it said.

The group added that UK trade was “impacted by logistics disruption” although its premium portfolio of brands, which includes Birra Moretti and Desperados, continued recent growth.

Mr Van Den Brink added: “We see first signs of recovery and I admire the resilience and solidarity of our people as we navigate these challenges.

“Yet the macro environment remains volatile and we are responding accordingly.

“We are taking an assertive approach to pricing and cost across all of our markets to meet this challenge.

“Therefore, our expectations stay unchanged, with full-year results remaining below 2019.”

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