Heineken to get Mexico, cost savings boost in 2010

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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.

Graphic on top global brewers

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.