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Heineken Q1 Profit Rises; Volume Up 12.1%

Dutch brewer Heineken NV (HKHHF.PK) reported that its first-quarter net profit rose to 168 million euros from 94 million euros in the prior year. The effect from lower on-trade volume in Europe was more than offset by the performance of other regions and continued cost mitigation efforts.

The Heineken brand had a strong performance, well ahead of the overall market, growing 12.1% in the quarter, the company said in a statement. Volume grew double-digits in more than 40 markets, including Brazil, South Africa, China, Vietnam, Nigeria, Colombia, Argentina, France, Poland and Laos.

In Africa, Middle East & Eastern Europe, Beer volume increased organically by 9.9% with most markets contributing, with a particular strong performance in Nigeria and South Africa. Premium portfolio grew by double-digits, driven by Heineken.

In Americas, Beer volume increased organically by 0.8% in the quarter due to the growth from Mexico, the USA, Peru, Ecuador and Panama and offset by the decline in Brazil. Premium portfolio grew by double-digits, led by Heineken and Amstel Ultra.

In Asia Pacific, Beer volume increased organically by 5.4%, driven by the double-digit growth of Vietnam, Singapore, Laos, Taiwan and South Korea. This was partially offset by the decline in Cambodia and the restructuring of business in the Philippines. The premium portfolio increased double-digits, driven by Vietnam.

In Europe, Beer volume declined organically by 9.7%, driven by a decline of around two thirds in the on-trade as lockdowns were in place throughout the entire quarter. The off-trade grew in the low-teens, with continued market share momentum in most markets.

The company noted that the outlook statements remain unchanged. Its business continues to be significantly impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. It expects market conditions to gradually improve into the second part of the year, depending on the roll-out of vaccines.

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