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Brussels/London — Heineken’s shares rose on Wednesday as it retained its full-year outlook, but the world’s second-largest brewer also warned that tough economic conditions in some markets could weigh on consumer demand for its beers in 2024.

The Dutch maker of Europe’s top-selling lager, Heineken, as well as Sol and Tiger, said it made more money in the third quarter even as customers bought less beer, thanks to higher prices and consumers opting for more expensive lagers.

CFO Harold van den Broek said  tough economic conditions in some markets threaten consumer demand into 2024, which could hinder Heineken’s volume growth in its next financial year. “I don’t want to call out a generic slowdown across our business,” Van den Broek said, adding there are specific markets it is watching.

Those include Nigeria and Vietnam, both key markets for the company, where economic conditions are already dragging on volumes, as well as Malaysia and Cambodia, where there are some concerning trends.

Heineken had also seen some trading down in Poland, while in Italy consumers were still buying expensive drinks but more often on promotions, he continued.

Heineken retained its full-year forecast for operating profit growth in 2023 of between zero and a mid-single-digit percentage, though Van den Broek said Heineken is comfortable with analyst forecasts that put it at the lower end of that range.

Nevertheless, the news cheered some investors, who had feared Heineken would have to trim its full-year guidance again.

“After several quarters of miscommunication and over-promising/under-delivery ... today’s update should be seen as reassuring,” Citi analyst Simon Hales said in a note.

The company’s shares rose 2.5% in early trade, but had dropped back to stand 0.9% higher by 12.42pm GMT.

Net revenue before one-off items rose 4.5%, just short of analyst expectations of a 4.8% increase, according to a company-compiled poll, while beer volumes fell 4.2%, slightly less than analyst forecasts.


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