Heineken profit beats expectations on strong Europe

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Heineken, the world`s second-largest beer maker, reported higher than expected earnings in the first half of 2017, with the strongest profit growth in Europe thanks to a late Easter and an early start of warm summer weather.
The Dutch brewer of Europe`s top-selling lager Heineken, as well as Tiger and Sol, said volumes, revenue and profits grew on a like-for-like basis in all four of its regions, with turnarounds from weak first quarters in Africa and the Americas.
Volume growth in Ethiopia and South Africa more than offset a decline in Nigeria while a strong Mexican market ensured expanding sales in the Americas, with declines in Brazil, Panama and to a lesser extent the United States.
Vietnam, one of Heineken`s top two markets, continued strong.
In Europe, where profit growth was strongest, volumes increased in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, helped by a late Easter and the warm drink-inducing weather.
"If you look at volume around the world, it`s a very balanced performance between price increase, mix development and volume," Laurence Debroux, chief financial officer of Heineken, told CNBC Monday.
"Balanced volume growth in Europe, good volumes in Vietnam, particularly for the Tiger brand, and you see a bit of recovery in some countries in Africa.
The company said on Monday that it continued to expect revenue and profit growth this year, despite continued volatility.
It is targeting a 0.
4 percent improvement in operating margin for the year, excluding the acquisitions of the Brazilian business of Japan`s Kirin and U.
craft brewer Langunitas, and its planned purchase of most of the pubs of Britain`s Punch Taverns.

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