Heineken profits surged in the first half of 2016 -- but investors are not happy

Heineken, the Dutch brewing giant saw profits and revenues surge in the first half of 2016, but missed analyst expectations for the first six months of the year.

The world’s third largest beer maker missed forecasts from analysts on both profits and revenues, although both misses were relatively small. Revenues at the Amsterdam-based firm hit €10.09 billion (£8.51 billion) against a forecast of €10.3 billion (£8.68 billion), representing sales growth of 2% for the six months up to June, and a 4.7% increase on a like-for-like basis.

Profits also jumped, growing 11.2% to €977 million (£823 million). That was a miss on forecasts from analysts, however, who had expected profits of €1.01 billion (£850 million).

Heineken’s relatively strong results in the first half were largely driven by a solid performance in Europe, as well as in the Americas. Organic beer volumes — sales that discount pushes into new markets or areas — disappointed with growth in Africa, the Middle East, and in Eastern Europe.

Here’s a brief summary of the most important point from Heineken’s results statement:

  • Net profit of €977 million (£823 million), up 11.2%, but lower than expected;
  • Revenues up by 2% to €10.3 billion (£8.68 billion), another lower than expected report;
  • Interim dividend set at €0.52 per share;
  • Earnings per share of €1.71, compared to €1.59 at the end of 2015;
  • Premium beer volumes increased by 2.6%.

In a statement released alongside the results, Heineken CEO and Chairman Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said:

“Our first half performance reflects a very good first quarter, also helped by softer comparatives, and a solid second quarter. Whilst Africa Middle East & Eastern Europe continued to be challenging, performance was strong in some key developing markets such as Vietnam and Mexico. Europe also contributed to our results with positive momentum and a clear focus on operational excellence.

“We are convinced that our well-balanced global footprint, sustained investment in brands and innovation, and focus on the premium segment continue to give us a unique competitive advantage to win in our markets.”

Given the miss on analysts expectations, it is perhaps unsurprising that Heineken investors have not reacted well to the news, falling more than 3.3% at the open in Amsterdam. Shares have since recovered around half that loss and are currently trading lower by 1.85% as of 8:45 a.m. BST (3:45 a.m. ET).

Here’s how that looks:

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