Heineken NV (HEIN.AS), the world’s third-largest brewer, should report sharply higher 2010 earnings on Wednesday as a Mexican acquisition and cost savings outweigh sluggish volumes in mature markets.
Investors will also be keen to hear the Dutch brewer’s outlook on rocketing raw materials costs — likely to be a hot issue in 2011. The futures price for malting barley has risen 51 percent since the launch of such a contract in May EOBc1.
Heineken’s improved results will come despite volumes under pressure from the company’s heavy exposure to mature western European markets and some evidence of market-share loss in Russia and the United States.
Rival SABMiller (SAB.L), with a heavy presence in faster-growing African and Latin American markets, said last month its lager volumes rose 3 percent in the final three months of 2010.
Heineken, for whom western Europe made up over half of revenues in 2009, has reported declining volumes on a like-for-like basis in the first nine months of 2010, albeit at a slowing rate — a trend expected to continue.