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Key Words: Drinks maker Heineken’s CEO says there are signs of ‘softness’ in demand for beer

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“We increasingly see reasons to be cautious on the macroeconomic outlook, including some signs of softness in consumer demand.”

That was Dolf Van Den Brink, CEO of Heineken, speaking on inflationary pressures dampening demand from beer drinkers.

Alongside disappointing results from the Dutch company on Wednesday, the executive said that while Heineken
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HEINY,
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is maintaining its efforts to “responsibly” offset input-cost inflation, it is witnessing small signs of a slowdown in demand.

In the third quarter, the Amsterdam-listed brewing company reported an 8.9% organic rise in beer volumes, lower than analysts’ consensus estimate of 11.8%, which could be chalked up to increased costs prompting drinkers to consume less.

The growth primarily came from the Asia-Pacific region, which accounted for 84% of total growth in beer volumes, bouncing back due to the relaxation of COVID restrictions from last year. Europe saw single-digit growth, at just 5.5%.

Shares in Heineken were down 8% during morning trading on Wednesday, but Van Den Brink said the company’s “full-year expectations are unchanged.”

Heineken kept its outlook for growth this year, marking a 13.2% rise in its price mix driven by increased prices to “mitigate inflationary pressure and premiumization effects.”

It also reported revenue of €9.4 billion ($9.42 billion), up from €7.34 billion in the same period last year.

Its net profit in the nine months of 2022 declined 29% to €2.20 billion.

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