Business

Heineken blames sales drop on wet weather

Heineken beer Image copyright AFP
Image caption Heineken is the world's third-largest beer producer

Heineken has blamed "unseasonably wet weather" in Europe for a drop in both sales and profit in the three months to the end of September.

The Dutch brewer, which owns Strongbow and Bulmers as well as its eponymous lager, said sales fell 1.5% to €5.1bn (£4bn) in the third quarter.

Heineken said net profit in the quarter had also fallen, down to €460m, compared with €483m a year ago.

It comes just weeks after it rejected a takeover from rival SABMiller.

Despite the weaker-than-expected performance, Heineken said it was still confident on its performance for the full year.

"Amidst a volatile global environment and poor weather during the high selling season in Europe, we maintained top-line growth," said Heineken chairman Jean-Francois van Boxmeer.

Revenues in eastern and western Europe fell 8.5% and 4.1% respectively.

But the drop was offset by gains in emerging markets, with revenues up 10% in Asia and 3.6% in Africa.

It said the popularity of its Tiger brand in Vietnam and Malaysia helped drive Asian sales higher.

SABMiller spurned

In September, Heineken rejected a takeover offer from London brewer SABMiller, saying the proposal was "non-actionable".

It said the Heineken family, the founding family which still owns half of the firm, wanted to preserve the firm as "an independent company".

At the time, Heineken said it was confident it would continue to grow.

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