The brewer Dutch Heineken has released on Wednesday the results were greatly affected by the pandemic of novel coronavirus in the first quarter of the year, undergoing in particular, the containment measures taken around the world.
Number two in the world of beer, Heineken posted a net profit down 68.5 % year-on-year, to € 94 million.
The volumes of beer have been “strongly affected” in march, a fall of 14 %, announced in a press release the group, which has not released sales. For the quarter as a whole, volumes were down 2.1 %.
The brewer may, however, be pleased that organic growth of 5 % of the volume of the single brand Heineken, with a jump of 24.5 % for the region ” Americas “.
“Our performance for the first quarter reflects the initial impact of the measures” containment in place in many countries, said the CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer, quoted in the press release.
These measures, which may include the closure of sales outlets and production sites, have a “significant impact” on the markets and the business activity of the company, said Heineken.
The group has also seen a slowdown in sales due to a drop in tourism, particularly in Egypt and Indonénie.
– Cost reduction –
Brewer, who expects that the second quarter will be even more harshly marked by the consequences of the pandemic, has pledged not to make redundancies structural until the end of the year.
“In recent weeks, we have taken the necessary steps to reduce our costs, and ensure additional funding and we have to adapt to the rapid changes that we observe in our markets,” said Mr. van Boxmeer, who announced in February her departure in June after 15 years at the helm of the company.
The board of directors and the management team have agreed to reduce their base salary by 20% between may and December 2020, and the executives will not receive a bonus this year. The group will pay no interim dividend.
The uncertainties related to the duration of the pandemic of Covid-19 and its impact on the economy have led Heineken to withdraw its forecasts for 2020.
Founded in the Nineteenth century in Amsterdam, the brewer produces and sells over 300 brands of beer and cider, including Heineken, Strongbow, and Amstel, and employs more than 85,000 people in the world.