At the presentation for investors Jean-François van Boxmeer, CEO of Heineken NV, and CFO Laurence Debroux told about the company’s performance in Asia in 2015.
Asia Pacific continued to show strong momentum with consolidated beer volume up 6.3% organically. Strong volumes in Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Korea, and Sri Lanka offset weaker volumes in China and Indonesia.
In Vietnam beer volume grew double digit driven by a strong performance of the Tiger brand. Heineken also had a strong start to 2015 boosted by the Vietnamese Tet new year, and was up low single digit for the year. Volume in Vietnam benefited from improved consumer confidence, as well as the success of the portfolio strategy, and strong commercial execution.
Regional revenue per hectolitre was down 2.1%, adversely impacted by negative country mix, and adjusting for this it would have been up 1%. The region also delivered strong organic profit growth of just under 10%, particularly driven by the strong performance in Vietnam as well as Mongolia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Korea.
Projects in 2015 included extensions in Brazil, China, Cambodia and Ethiopia.
Heineken opened a new brewery in Myanmar in July and will open one in Shanghai during the first half of 2016. Also the company announced that in the coming years, they will be building breweries in Mexico, Brazil, Ivory Coast and East Timor.
“It goes with stop and go, like we see in China today, like we see in Brazil today, like we see in Nigeria today, you have some countries which definitely are going into a stop. We believe medium and long term that those countries remain a go. And therefore we invested in these countries” – Jean-François van Boxmeer told to investors.
On Asia Pacific Heineken is particularly pleased with the evolution of the margin of Vietnam, and this is supported by the strong growth in Vietnam and also by the fact the positive effect of the currency of Vietnam.
“So while some other emerging markets had actually a headwind on transactional – on currency, Vietnam had a little bit of favourable wind on that. So that’s the combination of the two. But really the strong growth of Vietnam is what drives the margin in Asia Pacific” – Laurence Debroux mentioned.