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Heineken N.V. reports 2021 half year results

2 August 2021

Heineken N.V. (EURONEXT: HEIA; OTCQX: HEINY) announces:


  • Net revenue (beia) €9,971 million, +14.1% organic growth
  • Net revenue (beia) organic growth per hectolitre +5.5%
  • Consolidated beer volume organic growth +9.6%
  • Heineken® volume +19.6%
  • Operating profit (beia) organic growth +109.3%
  • Net profit (beia) €896 million, +320.3% organic growth
  • Diluted EPS (beia) €1.56 (2020: €0.39)
  • EverGreen strategy deployment has started
  • Full year expectations unchanged: financial results to remain below 2019.

We are pleased to report a strong set of results for the first half year, whilst the pandemic continues to impact the world and our business. I would like to thank our teams for their resilience and continued focus on safety. They were fast to service our customers and consumers when markets reopened, yet remained agile where restrictions were reintroduced.

Beer volume grew +9.6%, led by strong growth in Heineken® of 19.6% with over 50 markets in double-digit growth. Our operating profit (beia) more than doubled driven by top-line  leverage, continued cost mitigations and structural cost savings, further helped by the phasing of marketing and sales expenses into the second half.

There is early momentum building towards EverGreen: we are strengthening our ability to drive consumer-centric innovation, building traction on our productivity programme and shaping our path to meet our Brew a Better World commitments.

Yet there is reason for caution too. Firstly, COVID-19 remains a factor, with the biggest impact currently in key markets in Asia and Africa. Secondly, we see a rise in commodity costs, which, at current levels, will start affecting us in the second half of this year and have a material effect in 2022. Overall, we expect full year financial results to remain below 2019.



IFRS Measures€ millionTotal growth BEIA Measures€ millionOrganic growth2
Revenue11,970  7.3 % Revenue (beia)11,97013.1 %
Net revenue10,010  8.3 % Net revenue (beia)9,97114.1 %
Operating profit1,717  1,920.0 % Operating profit (beia)1,628109.3 %
    Operating profit (beia) margin16.3% 
Net profit1,034  448.1 % Net profit (beia)896320.3 %
Diluted EPS (in €)1.80446.2 % Diluted EPS (beia) (in €)1.56295.5 %
  Free operating cash flow650 
 Net debt / EBITDA (beia)33.0x 

1 Consolidated figures are used throughout this report unless otherwise stated; please refer to the Glossary for an explanation of non-GAAP measures and other terms used throughout this report. 2 Organic growth shown, except for Diluted EPS (beia) which is total growth. 3 Includes acquisitions and excludes disposals on a 12 month pro-forma basis.


Our top-line performance was driven by our agile response to the fast changing environment, as well as the gradual lifting of the significant restrictions implemented last year across most markets to contain the spread of COVID-19. The recovery is not uniform across geographies, and in some countries new waves and variants of the virus have led to renewed restrictions, particularly in Asia Pacific and Africa. Our teams continue to demonstrate remarkable resilience and commitment to serve our customers and consumers under these highly volatile trading conditions.

As we continue to navigate the crisis, we are also building the future with EverGreen. We aim to deliver superior top-line growth with greater focus on meeting the needs of consumers and customers, driving premiumisation, extending beer into non-alcoholic, flavoured and less bitter variants, and moving beyond beer, for example with ciders and hard seltzers. Throughout the year we have introduced many innovations across our operations, some of which are highlighted throughout this report.

Net revenue (beia) increased 14.1% organically, driven by an 8.2% increase in total consolidated volume, and a 5.5% increase in net revenue (beia) per hectolitre. We took price mainly in markets facing high currency devaluation and inflation and drove mix through premiumisation and portfolio mix management, resulting in an underlying price mix growth of 5.0% on a constant geographic basis. Compared to the first half of 2019, net revenue (beia) remained 12.9% below in total.

Consolidated beer volume increased 9.6% organically, with double digit growth in Africa, Middle East & Eastern Europe and the Americas. The second quarter beer volume grew by 19.3%, as the previous year was most heavily impacted by widespread lockdowns and the suspension of our operations in Mexico, South Africa and Malaysia, among other markets. Premium beer volume outperformed the broader portfolio with growth in the mid-teens, led by Heineken®.

Consolidated beer volume(in mhl)2Q212Q20OrganicgrowthHY21HY20Organicgrowth
Heineken N.V.59.6  51.0  19.3 %109.9  102.6  9.6 %
Africa Middle East & Eastern Europe9.7  8.7  24.4 %19.1  18.1  16.8 %
Americas20.9  15.3  36.6 %40.3  34.6  16.7 %
Asia Pacific5.9  6.5  -8.2 %13.6  13.9  -1.0 %
Europe23.1  20.5  13.0 %36.9  35.9  3.2 %

Heineken® continued to show great momentum and grew volume by 26.8% in the second quarter to close the first half with a 19.6% increase, an increase of 16.7% versus 2019. The brand grew double digits in more than 50 markets, most notably in Brazil, China, Vietnam, Nigeria, South Africa, Italy, Poland, Colombia and Mexico. Heineken® 0.0, now available in 95 markets, grew close to 40% in volume, with a particularly strong performance in Brazil, the USA, Mexico, the UK and Poland. Heineken® Silver more than quadrupled its volume, driven by strong growth in China and Vietnam.

Heineken® sponsored the EURO 2020 and invited fans to come together and be rivals again. The event attracted audiences across the world and the Final was the most watched event since 2018 with a live audience of 272 million fans. Heineken® achieved the highest engagement across social channels, with the Heineken® “Star of the Match” activation accounting for more than 25% of all impressions and engagements across UEFA posts during the tournament. Heineken® achieved great recognition with several awards for its recent creative work in the Cannes advertising festival in June, including a Grand Prix Outdoor for its “Shutter Ads” campaign and a special Silver Lion Entertainment for Sport for our “Don’t Drink & Start a League” post on social media.

Heineken® volume(in mhl)2Q21OrganicgrowthHY21Organicgrowth
Total12.2  26.8 %22.8  19.6 %
Africa Middle East & Eastern Europe1.4  37.2 %3.1  29.1 %
Americas4.4  30.5 %8.8  23.6 %
Asia Pacific1.6  35.1 %3.4  27.9 %
Europe4.8  18.2 %7.5  8.6 %

The international brands portfolio grew in the mid-teens, supported by launches in new markets and consumer-focused innovations, with Amstel, Desperados and Birra Moretti ahead of 2019 volume. Amstel grew in the high-twenties driven by strong growth in Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria and had an encouraging start in China following its introduction in December 2020. In partnership with tennis legend Rafa Nadal, the “Choose Your Way to Live” campaign was launched to support Amstel 0.0 and Amstel Ultra®, reinforcing the importance of moderation as part of an active and balanced lifestyle. Desperados increased in the high-twenties, recruiting a more unisex and young adult consumer base in established European markets, Ivory Coast and Nigeria with its expanding portfolio of flavoured and 0.0 line extensions. Birra Moretti, with high-twenties growth, benefited from strong demand in the UK and Romania, a successful launch in the Netherlands and a new premium line extension in Italy – Birra Moretti Filtrata a Freddo. Sol grew in the low-teens driven by Chile, Mexico and South Africa. In contrast, Tiger was negatively impacted by restrictions in Vietnam and Cambodia, only partially offset by growth in Nigeria, Malaysia and South Korea. Tiger Crystal continued its strong performance across Asia Pacific and was launched in Brazil in July.

Cider volume grew mid-single digits to 2.2 million hectolitres. Strong growth in South Africa, Russia and Mexico, plus the addition of Strongbow in Australia, more than offset the high-single digit decline in the UK. The UK launched Inch’s Cider, a brand with sustainability at its heart and aimed at young adults.

Low & No-Alcohol (LONO) volume increased in the low-twenties to 7.5 million hectolitres, with double digit growth across all regions other than Europe, which grew close to 10%. The non-alcoholic beer and cider portfolio grew in the high-teens as growth continues in Europe, and volume more than doubled in the Americas. The growth was led by Heineken® 0.0 and was complemented by a range of new zero line extensions, including Desperados Virgin Mojito and Lagunitas Non-Alcohol IPA.

Following our entry into the Hard Seltzer category last year, we launched Pura Piraña in Portugal, Ireland, the UK, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands and France. We expanded the portfolio in Mexico with Amstel Ultra Seltzer. In the US, we entered this competitive category by leveraging our portfolio, with Dos Equis Ranch Water, and with the AriZona SunRise brand through a long-term partnership.


An essential part of our growth algorithm is to build our capability to deliver continuous productivity improvements and cultivate a cost-conscious culture. This will fuel the investments required to support our growth strategy and improve operating margins.

At the end of 2020 we launched an initial productivity programme, targeting €2 billion structural gross savings by 2023 relative to our cost base of 2019. We expect to have accumulated more than €1 billion of them by the end of 2021. Our operations have identified many initiatives across the entire value chain and their implementation is well on track:

  • We are right-sizing our cost base and streamlining our organisation. To date more than half of the benefit from the expected 8,000 FTE reduction has been realised, with the bulk of the remainder to be captured by the end of the first quarter of 2022. Close to one-third of the reduction is happening in Europe.
  • We are reducing complexity and optimising conversion and logistics costs across our supply chain. For example, in the Netherlands we are reducing the number of SKUs by around 30%. Across many operations, we are harmonising bottles across products and light-weighting our packaging where possible. In the UK, we have lowered our logistic costs by introducing a modern and flexible primary distribution network of suppliers and improved our demand planning systems.
  • We are improving the effectiveness of our commercial spend, reducing non-consumer facing expenses. In the USA, we have achieved the largest savings while maintaining the effectiveness of our overall brand investment.

As we build our cost-conscious culture we set up tracking tools and implemented structured methods to better learn across operating companies and identify scaleable initiatives.


Our productivity programme enables us to accelerate investments, particularly in marketing and sales, our digital & technology transformation and our sustainability and responsibility ambitions.

We aim to restore our marketing and sales spend as a percentage of net revenue (beia) to the levels before the pandemic by 2023. In the first half of this year, this investment was lower at 9.3% of net revenue (beia) (2020: 11.1%; 2019: 11.7%), driven by phasing of expenses, cost mitigation actions in markets under lockdown and early capture of commercial efficiencies from our productivity programme. In the second half of the year we expect an acceleration of our investment behind our growth initiatives.

We have stepped up investments behind our digital transformation to build a future-proof HEINEKEN. In particular we are making big strides to become the best-connected brewer by strengthening our route-to-consumer:

  • Our business-to-business (B2B) digital platforms continued their strong momentum and captured more than €1 billion in digital sales value in the first half of this year, more than double versus last year, and now connect more than 200 thousand customers in traditional channels. We continued to expand our footprint of B2B platforms, now spanning 30 operating companies.
  • We have empowered our sales force digitally, and today 99% of our sales people work with our digital tools focused on excellent visit and outlet execution.
  • Our direct-to-consumer platforms (D2C) continue to grow strongly. Beerwulf, in Europe, grew its net revenue by close to 60%, with particularly strong growth in home draught with The Sub and Blade. In Mexico, our D2C activities grew around 90% in volume.
  • We continue to make progress towards the standardisation of our ERP landscape as planned.


Operating profit increased to €1,717 million. Operating profit (beia) increased 109.3% organically, with strong contribution from key markets, in particular Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Spain and France. Revenue growth, further boosted by structural gross cost savings, continued cost mitigation actions and phasing of marketing and sales expenses into the second half of the year were more than offsetting transactional currency costs and the reinstatement of variable pay. Relative to the first half of 2019 operating profit (beia) was 9% below in total.

The impact of exceptional items and amortisation of acquisition-related intangibles (eia) on operating profit was a benefit of €89 million (2020: €742 million expense), including a benefit of €174 million from tax credits in Brazil (for more details please refer to page 33).


Net profit (beia) increased 320.3% organically to €896 million (2020: €227 million). The relative increase was higher than the increase in operating profit (beia) due to low level of net profit last year, lower interest and net finance expenses in combination with a lower effective tax rate.

The impact of exceptional items and amortisation of acquisition-related intangibles (eia) on

net profit was a benefit of €138 million (2020: €524 million expense), including a benefit of €243 million from tax credits in Brazil (for more details please refer to page 33).

Net profit was €1,034 million (2020: €297 million loss).


HEINEKEN’s dividends are paid in the form of an interim dividend and a final dividend. The interim dividend is fixed at 40% of the total dividend of the previous year. In 2020, HEINEKEN by exception deviated from this policy, as no interim dividend was paid in August 2020.

For 2021, HEINEKEN will apply its regular policy and pay an interim dividend of €0.28 per share (2020: nil) on 11 August 2021. The shares will trade ex-dividend on 4 August 2021.


On 22 April 2021, we announced our refreshed Brew a Better World 2030 commitments, raising the bar on our environmental, social and responsibility actions in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We are now mobilising the organisation in an even more collaborative and ambitious way to ensure we deliver on our 2030 vision.

On decarbonisation, several of our operating companies have committed to carbon neutrality in their production facilities ahead of our global target, including Brazil by 2023 and Indonesia by 2025.

To show our commitment to an inclusive, fair and equitable world, we leveraged the strength of Amstel by committing 10% of the brand’s media budget in Brazil to raise awareness and support the LGBTQIA+ community, including most recently launching the “I am what I am” campaign.

On the path to moderation and no harmful use, Heineken® 0.0 is now available in 95 markets and, by 2023, we will ensure a zero-alcohol option for at least two strategic brands in the majority of our operating companies accounting for 90% of our business.

For more details, please refer to our Company website and the recording of our What’s Brewing Seminar hosted on 11 May 2021.


On 23 June 2021, HEINEKEN acquired additional ordinary shares in United Breweries Limited (UBL), taking its shareholding in UBL from 46.5% to 61.5%. On 29 July 2021, HEINEKEN obtained control and consolidates UBL as of that date. UBL will be a top HEINEKEN operating company and Kingfisher a top 5 global brand with an exciting long-term growth opportunity.

The consolidation of UBL will have a small accretive effect on EPS (beia) and a dilutive effect on operating profit margin (beia).


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for the world with the biggest impact for our business currently in Asia. We expect the rest of the year will continue to be volatile, with some markets gradually recovering while others continue to implement restrictions until vaccinations are more broadly rolled out.

Furthermore, we expect headwinds in input costs in the second half of 2021 and a material impact from commodity costs in 2022. We will be assertive on pricing and drive revenue and cost management to face this challenge; however we expect margin pressure to intensify in the second half. In addition, we will increase our marketing and sales expenses investment behind growth initiatives versus last year, fully in line with our original full year brand plans.

As a consequence, we expect operating profit margin (beia) to be lower in the second half compared with the second half of last year, and as indicated before, full year financial results are expected to remain below 2019.

We also anticipate:

  • An average effective interest rate (beia) of around 2.7% (2020: 3.0%)
  • Capital expenditure related to property, plant and equipment and intangible assets of around €1.8 billion (2020: €1.6 billion)
  • The effective tax rate (beia) to stay above 2019 level due to the effect of fixed cost components in the tax line.


Based on the impact to date, and applying spot rates of 28 July 2021 to the 2020 financial results as a baseline for the remainder of the year, the calculated negative currency translational impact would be approximately €450 million in net revenue (beia), €90 million at consolidated operating profit (beia), and €40 million at net profit (beia).


Given the uncertain, volatile, and unprecedented economic times, at the beginning of this year the Supervisory Board only set preliminary performance conditions for the 2021-2023 Long Term Incentive (LTI) awards. These preliminary performance conditions have now been made final, without changes.