Beer volumes fell again in Western Europe in the past three months but growth in other markets gave Heineken cause for cheer.
The Dutch brewer said beer volumes were down 1.2% in Western Europe, despite “moderate” growth in the UK.
Strong performances in Central Europe and Asia helped volumes across the group as a whole to grow by 4.7% over the first quarter. Total sales grew almost 7% to €3.83bn (£3.14bn).
But Heineken warned that rising costs had more than offset the hike in sales, putting a dent in quarterly earnings.
Meanwhile, the brewer has been left red-faced after pictures surfaced on the internet showing Heineken branding at a venue in Mongolia being used to stage dog fights.
“The venue owner has verbally confirmed that Heineken banners are visible in the pictures because the previous evening the club had been decorated for a promotional event and he had failed to remove the banners once it was over,” a spokesman for the brewer told the Daily Mail.
“This event was in no way related to the dog fight. We fully understand the level of negative feeling amongst consumers based on what they have seen and encourage our consumers to continue to use social media channels to alert us to any situation where they feel our brands are being misrepresented, so that we can take the appropriate actions.”