Heineken, the Dutch brewing giant, had a great year in 2015, thanks to strong growth across several of its brands, particularly in some of its smaller, premium beers.
In its full year results, released on Wednesday morning, the company announced organic revenue growth of 3.5%, with operating profits up 6.9%, and net profits up 16% to €2.05 billion.
Part of that success was down to the growth of three premium brands owned by Heineken: Sol Premium, Desperados, and Affligem. All three saw double digit revenue growth, with Sol, a light Mexican beer, performing incredibly well in Brazil and Latin America.
Growth in the business’s profits and revenues were also driven by strong performance from Heineken beer, which sold 3.5% more in 2015 than in the previous year, and by the company’s cider brands, which grew by double digits in the second half of the year, thanks to what the company called “better weather in some markets.”
Here are some of the other key takeaways from the brewer’s results:
- Total revenue growth up 6.5%.
- Beer volumes up by 2.3%, thanks to growth in the Americas, Asia, and western Europe.
- Dividends for 2015 up 18% to €1.30 (£1.01) per share.
- Diluted earnings per share of €3.57 (£2.78), up from €3.05 (£2.38) in 2014.
- Innovation rate up 1.5% to 9.2%, contributing around €2 billion (£1.56 billion) of revenues for the company.
Speaking about the results, Heineken’s CEO, Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said: “Our strong performance in 2015 reflects the successful execution of our strategy, as well as the relevance of our unique geographic diversity and our portfolio of premium brands, led by Heineken. In 2015, top and bottom line growth was supported by increased investment inour brands, sustained innovation, and cost efficiencies.”
While it was mostly good news from the company, it did warn about the potential impacts of the crazy volatility plaguing emerging market economies right now. Van Boxmeer noted that Heineken expects “further volatility in emerging markets and deflationary pressures in 2016.”
Heineken is set to become the world’s second largest brewer, following the announcement of a merger between AB InBev and SAB Miller late in 2015. That megadeal — which will give the merged companies more than 30% of the global beer market — alongside emerging market volatility, could signal hard times ahead for the company. However van Boxmeer said that the business is “confident that we will again deliver top and bottom line growth, as well as margin expansion in line with our guidance.”
Alongside the results, Heineken promoted its new agenda to promote more moderate drinking amongst its customer. Earlier this week, Heineken’s UK managing director, David Forde told Business Insider that he actually wants people to drink less beer: “We don’t need to create value by getting people wasted,” he said.
Investors in Heineken don’t seem either too pleased, or too disappointed with the company’s results. Around 45 minutes after the open, shares in the Amsterdam listed brewer are up 0.5% to €75.55. Here’s the chart: