Heineken sales lower than expected after Asia lockdowns return

European sales also slip with supply issues a problem in UK market

Dutch brewing giant Heineken reported a steeper than expected decline in third-quarter beer sales. Photograph: Koen Van Weel / EPA

Dutch brewing giant Heineken reported a steeper than expected decline in third-quarter beer sales. Photograph: Koen Van Weel / EPA

 

Dutch brewing giant Heineken reported a steeper than expected decline in third-quarter beer sales on Wednesday after Covid-19 restrictions cut volumes in Vietnam, one of its top three markets, by more than half.

The world’s second-largest brewer said it sold 5.1 per cent less beer on a like-for-like basis than a year earlier, with Asia-Pacific sales down 37.4 per cent as Covid-19 restrictions hit Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The average estimate in a company-compiled poll of analysts was for a 2.3 per cent overall decline, with the Asia-Pacific region down 25.6 per cent and modest growth in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

The maker of Europe’s top-selling beer, Heineken, and Tiger, Sol, Amstel and Birra Moretti lagers retained its forecast of full-year results finishing below those of pre-pandemic 2019.

European sales also disappointed, failing to deliver an expected uplift. Heineken said the weakness partly reflected poor summer weather in northern Europe, though it also faced logistics diruptions in Britain.

Rivals Anheuser-Busch InBev and Carlsberg provide updates on the third quarter on Thursday. – Reuters