Brewing giant Heineken sold more beer than expected in the third quarter but currency volatility is taking a bigger chunk out of profits than previously forecast.
Consolidated beer volume was up 2% organically in the period to 54 million hectolitres, with growth in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe offsetting weaker business in Africa Middle East and Eastern Europe.
The Heineken, Tiger and Sol maker added that volumes for its premium brands were also up by 3.5% for the quarter.
The full-year margin guidance is unchanged but currency headwinds on earnings are expected to be €215m, up from €200m at the end of the first half.
Reported net profit for the nine months to date was €1.2bn, including the asset impairment of €233m, compared with 2015:€1.8bn a year ago.
CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer said: “Performance in the third quarter was robust despite strong comparatives in Americas and Europe, and a tough environment in Africa Middle East & Eastern Europe.
“Strong performance continued in key markets such as Vietnam and Mexico, with Europe also showing further positive momentum. Our full year margin expectations remain unchanged despite continued adverse economic conditions in some developing markets, as well as increasing currency headwinds.”
Organic consolidated beer volumes increased by 0.6% in Europe thanks to good beer drinking weather across the continent. However, volumes declined in the UK due to “tough” comparatives. Heineken added.
Listed wine maker Gusbourne is has appointed three new directors to the board with immediate effect, including a CEO.
Charlie Holland, who has been head of wine making at Gusbourne for more than three years, has joined the board as chief winemaker and chief executive. He will remain responsible for winemaking at Gusbourne but also manage the day-to-day running of the business with Jon Pollard. Pollard has been the vineyard manager at the Gusbourne Estate since the first vines were planted 12 years ago in 2004. He joins the board as chief vineyard manager and chief operating officer.
Mike Paul joins as deputy chairman and will work closely with chairman Andrew Weeber. He will also head up the sales and marketing function of the business and help further develop the distribution of Gusbourne’s premium sparkling wines in the UK and in additional overseas markets as production volumes increase over the coming years.
Weeber said: “Each of them bring their strong professional skills and experience with them and their appointments will ensure that all key functional areas of the business are represented on the board. Gusbourne remains committed to the production and distribution of the highest quality English sparkling wines and the new appointments reinforce our commitment to that end.”
Russian retail chain Lenta has agreed to acquire the food retail business of Kesko, currently operating under the K-Ruoka brand, for 11m rubles. The purchase consists of 10 hypermarkets and one supermarket operating under the K-Ruoka brand in Saint-Petersburg and the Leningradskiy region, as well as three land plots in Moscow and the Leningradskiy regions.
Lenta CEO Jan Dunning said: “We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Kesko to acquire their business in Russia. While Lenta remains primarily focused on its successful organic expansion, we welcome opportunities to augment this by acquiring high quality assets such as the Kesko stores.”
Russian food retail rival X5 reported that revenue growth accelerated to 30.7% year-on-year to 256.2m rubles on the back of solid like-for-like sales and strong selling space expansion in the third quarter. EBITDA also rose 39.3% y-o-y to reach 19.9m rubles.
Yesterday in the City
Investors in Premier Foods (PFD) endured another torrid day as the share price fell to the lowest level since early July a downgrade by broker Jefferies. The stock of the Oxo and Bisto maker fell almost 5% to 43.8p by the end of the trading. See here for full story on thegrocer.co.uk.
Whitbread (WTB) sank 3.8% to 3,699p despite an 8.1% rise in first-half revenues to £1.6bn as Costa delivered double-digit UK growth. However, Costa’s margin in the first half fell year on year because of investments in refurbishments, IT infrastructure and early introduction of the National Living Wage.
McBride (MCB) fell 2.3% to 188p after Monday’s update that it had started the year well but the “many uncertain macro-economic factors ahead of us” were a cause for caution.
Other fallers included Fevertree (FEVR), down 2.8% to 953p, Dairy Crest (DCG), down 3.4% to 607p and B&M (BME), down 2.5% to 238.5p – and down almost 8% in the past month.
Greencore (GNC), Diageo (DGE) and Ocado (OCDO) rose 1.3% to 322.3p, 1.2% to 2,203p and 1.1% to 272.6p respectively.