Heineken reports 14% volume sales drop in March

22 April, 2020

Heineken has reported a 14% drop in volume sales during March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Dutch brewer said year-on-year volume sales decreased 2.1% in Q1 and that contributed to a sharp fall in profit. It made a quarterly net profit of €94 million, compared to €229 million in the same period last year.

Heineken warned that it had received “limited benefit from the mitigation actions” it has taken since the coronavirus outbreak.

Europe was the worst affected region in March for the Sol, Birra Moretti and Amstel supplier, with a 15% decrease in year-on-year sales. There were double-digit declines in every region, but Asia Pacific was the least impacted in March, with a 10.6% decrease.

Heineken actually reported organic growth of 4.4% in Asia Pacific during Q1, compared to a 1.4% decrease in Europe, a 2.5% decrease in the Americas and a 6.9% drop in Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe.

“During the first quarter of 2020, the Covid-19 outbreak has evolved into a pandemic,” said chairman and chief executive Jean-François van Boxmeer. “By now, most countries where we operate have reacted by taking far-reaching containment measures such as restrictions of movement for populations and outlet closures, sometimes combined with the mandatory lockdown of production facilities.  Our performance for the first quarter reflects the initial impact of those measures, and volumes in March were obviously heavily affected.

“In these very trying times, our thoughts remain with all those affected by Covid-19 and the people working tirelessly to care for them. In addition to our actions with local communities which are now approaching a value of €5 million, on April 8th we announced our decision to donate €15 million to the International Red Cross and I am pleased to report that the de Carvalho-Heineken family together with their holding company will donate €10 million to eight charities providing support to communities most affected and fragile, to medical health systems and to medical research.

“Heineken has entered the crisis with strong brands and a strong balance sheet. In the past few weeks we have taken necessary measures to reduce our costs, secure additional financing and adapt to the fast changes we see in our markets.

“I am proud of the leadership, the commitment and the courage of our teams and I fully trust their talent, creativity and energy to steer Heineken through this unprecedented situation and protect as well as develop our brands and businesses.”

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