Heineken Green Grip 9

Heineken, the world’s second-biggest brewer, has tempered expectations for annual profit growth, saying higher prices hit demand last year (Financial Times £).

Heineken seems to be struggling to refresh the part other beers cannot reach after it issued full-year results described by one analyst as “rather anaemic” (The Times £).

Cash-strapped consumers looking for more affordable alternatives to Kraft Heinz’s soups and sauces prompted a 7.1% fall in net sales at the American multinational foods group in the final quarter of last year (The Times £).

Coca-Cola HBC, the London-listed anchor bottler, which sells Coca-Cola’s drinks in 29 countries, said comparable operating profits soared by 16.6% to €1.08bn (£920m) in 2023 (Mail).

The market report in The Times (£) writes that Coca-Cola HBC shares popped to the top of FTSE 100 on the back of strong 2023 sales.

A similar market report in the Mail says shares in Coca-Cola HBC popped after the drinks bottler reported record profits for the third year in a row.

Shoplifters should be spared prosecution and jail to help tackle court backlogs and overcrowded prisons, says the former head of the Crown Prosecution Service (Telegraph £).

The Body Shop staff fear company will be broken up by German restructuring specialist Aurelius, risking 2,200 jobs (The Guardian).

The Body Shop’s new private equity owner is first in line for a payout after putting the company into administration, despite promising to “drive operational improvements and re-energise” the business (The Times £).

Shoppers in the market for spring and summer clothing may be left disappointed in the coming months as attacks in the Red Sea threaten to keep new-season clothing off the shelves (Telegraph £).

The Guardian follows up on Tuesday’s story in The Financial Times (£) that the billionaire Issa brothers borrowed $7m from EG Group in 2022 to repay debt taken on to buy jets.

UK inflation stayed steady at 4% last month, undershooting forecasts and leading traders to increase bets that the Bank of England will cut interest rates on the back of easing price pressures from the summer (Financial Times £).

Food prices fell for the first time in more than two years, offsetting last month’s rise in gas and electricity costs (The Guardian).

The Guardian examines which goods and services - from vegetables to cocoa and holiday centres to restaurants - have changed most in price last month.

An analysis in The Times (£) asks when will inflation go down to 2%.