Heineken today lowered its guidance for full-year profit after beer sales in eastern European dropped sharply and slipped in Brazil and in its large African markets.
The group, which makes Europe's best-selling Heineken lager, Sol and Strongbow cider, said it now expected net profit before one-offs to fall by a low single-digit percentage this year on a like-for-like basis.
It previously forecast that net profit would be broadly unchanged from that of 2012. It added that the stronger euro against a number of developing market currencies would have a negative €40m impact.
Heineken said the weakness of the beer market in central and eastern Europe and difficulties in key developing markets, including Brazil, Nigeria, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo, led to lower than expected lager sales.
The company said that consolidated beer volumes slipped 3% on a like-for-like basis to 48.3 million hectolitres, lower than the 50.2 million hectolitres average expected in a Reuters poll.
Consolidated revenue was up just 0.2% to €5.18 billion, again lower than the €5.41 billion forecast in the Reuters poll.
Heineken, the largest seller of beer in Europe, posted an 8% drop in beer sales in central and eastern Europe, with weak consumer spending in Russia, Romania and Greece and wet weather depressing drinking in September.
Inflation, tight credit and unemployment hit Nigeria and volumes fell in Egypt and Congo due to unrest. In Brazil, slowed growth and stubbornly high inflation, leading to rising interest rates, have weakened consumer spending there.
However, volumes improved by 1% in western Europe, largely due to a hot, dry summer but which came after a wretched spring.
Elsewhere, volumes only rose in the Asia-Pacific region, with increased beer drinking in China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam more than making up for lower sales in India due to a prolonged monsoon and regulatory changes in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
Heineken has a greater share of the sluggish western European market than its rivals, but has also boosted its emerging market presence with expansion into Mexico in 2010 and its buy-out of a joint venture partner in Asia last year.