Photographer: Maika Elan/Bloomberg

Heineken Reports Unexpected Increase in Shipments on Asian Demand

  • Volume rises 0.6% in first quarter; analysts expected decline
  • Profit rises 11 percent to 293 million euros in first quarter

Heineken NV, the world’s second-largest brewer, reported an unexpected increase in beer shipments, led by standout growth in Asia.

Beer volume rose 0.6 percent in the first quarter, the Amsterdam-based company said Wednesday, beating the 0.7 percent decline expected by analysts. The figure excludes the impact of acquisitions, disposals and currency swings. Profit rose 11 percent to 293 million euros ($314 million). The stock gained 1.2 percent in early trading.

The brewer’s Tiger brand has been driving growth in Asia, where Heineken’s biggest markets include Vietnam and Cambodia. That helped prevent volumes from shrinking in the first quarter after Heineken’s shipments accelerated in the past three years. The company reiterated that it anticipates an increase in sales and profit in 2017. 

“Asia Pacific continued to outperform and volume in Europe was solid,” Chief Executive Officer Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said in the statement. Conditions in the company’s Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe division remain challenging, he said.

Heineken is also expanding in Africa, where it’s acquired Stellenbrau, a beermaker based in South Africa’s western Cape, submitted a bid for a local Coca-Cola bottler and built a brewery in Ivory Coast to take on market-leader Castel.

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