SOURCE: Heineken N.V.

February 16, 2011 01:27 ET

Heineken N.V. grows net profit (beia) by 19.7% organically in a transformational year

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - February 16, 2011) -


Heineken N.V. (AMSTERDAM: HEIA.AS) today announced:

* On an organic basis, a net profit (beia)[1] increase of 19.7%, driven by solid EBIT (beia) growth and lower interest expense; Net profit was up 41% to EUR1,436 million partly due to changes in consolidation scope;

* Organic EBIT (beia) growth of 8.6% as cost saving initiatives, improved pricing and sales mix and higher profit from Heineken's joint ventures exceeded the effect of lower volume and revenue;

* Heineken brand premium volume growth of 3.4%, further strengthening its position as the world's leading international premium beer;

* Successful completion of the integration of the beer operations of FEMSA. On a pro forma basis, EBIT (beia) of these operations increased 44% to EUR397 million for the 12-month period ending December 2010. Pre-tax cost synergies of EUR42 million have already been realised;

* Total Cost Management (TCM) programme delivered EUR280 million pre-tax savings in 2010;

* Strong free operating cash flow generation of EUR1,993 million resulting in a Net debt/EBITDA (beia) ratio of 2.2x, achieving target of below 2.5x ahead of plan;

* Proposed total dividend of EUR0.76 per share for 2010 over an enlarged number of shares outstanding (2009: EUR0.65).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Key figures 1)            FY 2010   FY 2009   Change % Organic growth %
(in hls/ EUR millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Group beer volume           192.3     159.1       21         -1.7

 Consolidated beer volume    145.9     125.2       17         -3.1

 Heineken® premium volume     26.0      25.1      3.4         3.4

 Revenue                    16,133    14,701      9.7         -2.2

 EBIT                        2,476     1,757       41

 EBIT (beia)                 2,608     2,095       25         8.6

 Net profit                  1,436     1,018       41

 Net profit (beia)           1,445     1,055       37         19.7

 Free operating cash flow    1,993     1,741       14

 Net debt/EBITDA (beia)      2.2x*      2.6x

 Diluted EPS (beia) (in EUR)    2.56      2.15       19
------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Including the beer operations of FEMSA on a 12-month pro-forma basis

CEO Statement

Jean François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, commented:

"Heineken delivered a robust performance, generating double-digit organic net profit growth for the fifth consecutive year. We achieved this against a backdrop of an improving yet still challenging economic environment in a number of our key markets. At the same time, we have made significant investments in our platform for future growth. The most transformational event being the acquisition of the beer operations of FEMSA which provide us with significant new opportunities in three of the four largest profit pools in the global beer market: Mexico, Brazil and the USA.

I am particularly pleased that the Heineken brand has once again outperformed our broader brand portfolio, the overall beer market and the international premium segment as a whole. We will continue to invest in our leadership position in this segment.

In addition to the acquisition of the beer operations of FEMSA, our new partnership in India and strong growth in Africa and Asia have further enhanced our exposure to emerging beer markets. At the same time we have a clear plan of action for addressing the challenging market and consumer dynamics that exist in Europe and the USA, focusing our efforts on delivering value growth through increased investments in existing and new higher margin brands such as Dos Equis, Desperados and Strongbow. Over time, this is expected to deliver volume and value share growth.

Our success in 2010 was also built upon the significant progress made with our TCM cost saving programme and cash flow generation, enabling us to achieve our long-term Net debt/ EBITDA target ahead of plan. The relentless focus on cost reduction, global synergies and cash flow generation will continue in 2011 and beyond.

I am confident that all these initiatives will provide an excellent platform for revenue and profit growth in the years ahead."


2011 outlook

Heineken expects volume development in Latin America, Africa and Asia to benefit from ongoing robust economic conditions and marketing and investment programmes. Although the Company expects an improving economic environment in Europe and the USA in 2011, the impact of austerity measures and high unemployment is expected to result in continued cautious consumer behaviour in these markets. The international premium segment will continue outgrowing the overall beer market, benefiting the Heineken® brand and supporting improved sales mix. Heineken forecasts a low-single digit increase in input costs and plans to mitigate this impact through increased pricing.

In Europe, Heineken will shift its prime focus towards volume and value share growth, with increased investments in marketing and innovation in Heineken® and other key brands, further supported by the international roll-out of higher margin brands. Whilst this is expected to affect profit development in Europe in the near term, it underlines our commitment to strengthening our leadership position in the region. In addition, continued efforts will be made to improve the performance of companies acquired over the past few years. In the new markets of Mexico and Brazil, improved marketing effectiveness and the realisation of cost synergies will contribute to higher profitability.

The TCM programme will deliver further cost savings, although at a lower level than in 2010 following the earlier than planned realisation of savings in 2010. As a result of ongoing efficiency improvements, Heineken expects a further organic decline in the number of employees.

For 2011, capital expenditure related to property, plant and equipment is forecast to be approximately EUR850 million.

Heineken does not expect material changes to the effective tax rate (beia) in 2011 (2010: 27.3%) and forecasts an average interest rate slightly above 5.5%. Free operating cash flow generation is expected to remain strong, further reducing the level of net debt in 2011. Following two consecutive years of substantially reduced capital expenditure and significantly higher cash flow generation, the cash conversion rate for 2011 will be around 100%.

Total dividend for 2010

The Heineken N.V. dividend policy targets a dividend payout ratio of 30%- 35% of full-year net profit (beia). The payment of a total cash dividend of EUR0.76 per share of EUR1.60 nominal value for 2010 (total dividend 2009: EUR0.65) on an enlarged number of shares outstanding will be proposed to the annual meeting of shareholders. If approved, a final dividend of EUR0.50 per share will be paid on 5 May 2011, as an interim dividend of EUR0.26 per share was paid on 3 September 2010. The payment will be subject to a 15% Dutch withholding tax. The ex- final dividend date for Heineken N.V. shares will be 27 April 2011.

Editorial information:

Heineken is one of the world's great brewers and is committed to growth and remaining independent. The brand that bears the founder's family name - Heineken - is available in almost every country on the globe and is the world's most valuable international premium beer brand. The Company's aim is to be a leading brewer in each of the markets in which it operates and to have the world's most valuable brand portfolio. The Company operates 140 breweries in more than 70 countries and sold 205 million hectolitres of beer on a 2010 pro-forma basis. Heineken is Europe's largest brewer and the world's third largest by volume. Heineken is committed to the responsible marketing and consumption of its more than 200 international premium, regional, local and specialty beers and ciders. These include Amstel, Birra Moretti, Cruzcampo, Dos Equis, Foster's, Kingfisher, Newcastle Brown Ale, Ochota, Primus, Sagres, Sol, Star, Strongbow, Tecate, Tiger and Zywiec. On a 2010 pro-forma basis, including FEMSA Cerveza, revenue totalled EUR17 billion and EBIT (beia) was EUR2.7 billion.

The average number of people employed is more than 70,000. Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. shares are listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbols HEIA NA and HEIO NA and on the Reuter Equities 2000 Service under HEIN.AS and HEIO.AS. Most recent information is available on Heineken's website: http://www.heinekeninternational.com.

[1] For an explanation of the terms used please refer to the Glossary at the end of the press release

Please click the link below to read the entire press release including all annexes:

Heineken N.V. press release FYR10 complete version: http://hugin.info/130667/R/1489441/424839.pdf

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Source: Heineken N.V. via Thomson Reuters ONE

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