Heineken issued a sobering forecast for 2024 this week as it struggles against falling beer volumes and double-digit price increases.

Updating the market on its full-year results on Wednesday, the Dutch brewing giant said revenues had increased 4.9% to €36.4bn in the year, with organic growth of 5.5%. Value growth was driven by a 10.2% jump in pricing due to inflation and improved mix.

However, beer volumes fell back by 4.7%, largely due to economic conditions in the Vietnamese and Nigerian markets, which made up 60% of the declines.

Heineken reported a 5.9% drop in premium beer volumes for the year – though they grew by 1.1% when excluding Vietnam and the exit from Russia. Volumes in its low & no portfolio, meanwhile, were stable.

Operating profits at the brewer registered organic growth of 1.7% to €3.2bn, with a strong recovery in the second half of the year and growth delivered in three of its four regions.

But the group’s share price momentum was hit by its forecast that organic operating profit growth would remain low to high-single-digit in 2024, given uncertainty about the economic and geopolitical outlook – well below the 9.9% previously forecast by analysts.

“Strong price increases across the world have left consumers unable to sustain volume growth for beer and other beverages until 2025 in some key markets like Europe, Mexico and Brazil,” HSBC noted. “Heineken’s guidance is unhelpful at a time the EverGreen [strategy] plan should give management more control and conviction.”

“Having an ‘outperform’ on Heineken has been a painful experience [as] one after another, storms have swept in,” said Bernstein. However, it pointed to a more encouraging outlook for 2024 given easier comparisons in markets like Vietnam, Europe potentially bottoming out and cost and currency tailwinds.

Shares in Heineken sank 6.4% to €87.14 on Wednesday and are 6.8% down year on year.

Another booze category under pressure is the global spirits market. Pernod Ricard this week detailed a 7% drop in first-half reported sales to €6.6bn amid weakening demand in the US, China and Latin America.

Net profits slipped to €1.57bn from €1.79bn, but this was ahead of market expectations and mitigated by a significant expansion in gross margin on strict cost controls.

Despite first-half weakness, Pernod said it expected full-year sales to be flat on an improvement in China and the US in the second half.

Jefferies commented: “We have been highlighting that the downgrade cycle is well progressed and earnings are bumping along the bottom. As conviction increases that this is the trough, shares should recover.”

Pernod shares rose strongly in early trading to hit $164, but settled by lunchtime at 2.4% up at $158.40. The stock remains down 16.4% over the past 12 months.