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Heineken toasts 9.9% earnings lift

Press Association logoPress Association 15/02/2017

Dutch beer giant Heineken has toasted a 9.9 per cent rise in annual earnings ahead of its takeover of British pub group Punch Taverns.

Heineken posted underlying operating profit of 3.54 billion euros ($A4.9 billion) last year, up from 3.38 billion euros and said it sold three per cent more beer by volume.

It revealed a 1.15 billion euro hit to revenues from the Brexit-hit pound, as well as currency depreciation in other markets, although turnover still rose by 1.4 per cent to 20.8 billion euros.

The group said it is set for further sales and profit growth over the year ahead, but cautioned over "volatile" economic conditions and is expecting a further currency impact of up to 75 million euros.

Heineken sealed a deal in December to snap up Punch Taverns with private equity firm Patron Capital.

The deal, which values Punch at STG402.7 million ($A653.6 million), will see the Dutch beer giant buy 1,895 pubs and Patron 1,329. The deal is expected to go through by the end of the first half of 2017.

Heineken said beer sales by volume declined "slightly" in the UK last year, but premium sales saw double-digit growth.

Global sales of Heineken in the premium market rose 3.7 per cent by volume thanks also to double-digit growth across Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Romania.

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