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Heineken Q3'19 beer volume grows 2.3%, YTD net profit up 4.4%

Heineken NV on Oct. 23 reported a 4.4% year-over-year increase in net profit for the first nine months of 2019 as third-quarter beer volumes grew in all markets apart from the Americas.

The Dutch brewer said reported net profit for the first three quarters was €1.67 billion, up from a restated €1.60 billion in the year-ago period.

For the three months to Sept. 30, beer volume grew 2.3% year over year on an organic basis to 64.2 million hectoliters, driven by a 7.4% advance in the Heineken brand.

Chairman and CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer in a statement said that while the company is seeing "increased volatility across a number of our markets, which we assume to continue for the rest of the year," it expects operating profit to grow about 4% organically. The expectation is in line with the company's earlier projection of mid-single-digit growth in operating profit on an organic basis, barring any major unforeseen macroeconomic and political developments.

Third-quarter beer volumes grew in all geographies with the exception of the Americas, its second-largest market, which registered a 0.5% decline. Heineken said volumes in the U.S. declined by a high-single-digit figure due to the "negative impact of the phasing of sales last year, the continuous decline of Tecate and shortages of 24 oz cans." Declines were also seen in Brazil, where sales within its economy portfolio fell following a price increase, and Haiti, where social unrest caused "business interruption."

Beer volumes in Europe grew 1.6% in the third quarter, helped by the U.K, France and Italy. However, for the year to date, European volumes are down 0.3%, the only region in decline.

Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe reported a 1.6% increase in third-quarter volumes, while volumes grew 13.9% in Asia-Pacific thanks to double-digit increases in Vietnam and Cambodia.

In morning trading in Amsterdam, shares of Heineken were down 2.3% at 94.52.