Heineken, the world’s second-largest brewer, delivered beer sales above estimates in the first quarter as customers across Europe returned to pubs, bars and restaurants despite paying more for their pints.
Beer volume rose 5.2 percent on an organic basis, better than the average analyst estimate of 4.6 percent, the Dutch brewer said in a statement on Wednesday.
Sales increased by more than a third, mainly driven by price increases.
The stock was up as much as 5 percent in early Amsterdam trading.
Heineken reiterated its forecast for modest growth this year as any recovery in demand is clouded by Russia’s war in Ukraine and rising supply chain costs.
Chief Executive Officer Dolf van den Brink warned of economic uncertainty and “additional inflationary headwinds” in the coming months, hinting that the company could hike prices further.
“We expect rising inflationary pressures to have an impact on household disposable income later in the year and a consequent risk to beer consumption,” the company said, echoing comments made earlier this year.
The beer maker indicated in February that it was facing the worst inflation in a decade and said consumers may be cutting back on their beer consumption, threatening the industry’s recovery from the pandemic.
But the company’s first-quarter performance, which was particularly strong in Europe, sets a bullish tone for rivals Anheuser-Busch InBev and Carlsberg, which are due to report results in the coming weeks.
The Dutch brewery reported a net profit of 417 million euros for the quarter, compared to 168 million euros a year earlier.
“Revenue growth is the primary reason for this strong performance,” Edward Mundy and Jaina Mistry, analysts at Jefferies, wrote in a note.
Heineken has previously said it faces a €400m write-down as a result of its withdrawal from Russia amid the war in Ukraine.
Carlsberg, the largest brewer in Russia’s $16 billion market, has also pledged to leave the country.
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/heineken-sales-climb-as-customers-return-to-bars-across-europe-41569283.html Heineken sales soar as customers return to bars across Europe