Coronavirus makes Heineken profits go flat in first half of 2020

THE HAGUE: Dutch brewing giant Heineken said Thursday the impact of coronavirus containment measures had “deepened” in the second quarter, seeing net profit crash by more than 75% in the first half of the year.

The world’s second-largest brewer after Anheuser-Busch InBev said it expected a net loss of €300 million for the January-June period as it released preliminary figures.

“As expected, the impact of the Covid-19 crisis deepened in the second quarter of 2020,” the Amsterdam-based brewer said in a statement.

Heineken remained optimistic however, saying that after a low mark in April, volumes have picked up as countries slowly emerged from lockdown around the world and customers restored depleted inventories.

Beer volume, down by 11.5%, was most affected in the Americas and Africa, for example by full lockdowns in Mexico and South Africa, as well as in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

One highlight remained the brewer’s alcohol-free Heineken 0.0 brand which grew by double digits “with growth across all regions and with particular strength in the US and Mexico,” Heineken said.

Heineken’s announcement saw its share price fall by 2.3% in mid-afternoon trade on the Amsterdam stock exchange’s AEX blue-chip index.

Founded in the 19th century, Heineken produces and sells more than 250 brands including Desperados tequila-flavoured beer, Sol, John Smith’s and Strongbow cider.

It employs about 80,000 people in 70 countries around the world.