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HEINEKEN: Still positive volume trend expected

HEINEKEN: Still positive volume trend expected

24.10.2011 9:36

Heineken (35,84 EUR, 0,42%) will issue a 3Q11 trading update on 26 October before market. The company warned in August about poor weather affecting volumes in Europe in the important summer months. Nevertheless, on the back of growth in Russia supporting CEE and a solid Africa & Middle East business, we expect consolidated volumes to have remained in positive territory in 3Q11, growing by 1.3% organically. We expect FY guidance of a flat net profit (beia) organically to be reiterated which means a slight organic decline in 2H and hence admit finding a short term share price trigger is not easy.
Nevertheless, we still like Heineken for the overall defensiveness of the beer industry, the company’s improved geo-mix since the FEMSA Cerveza acquisition, significant margin support from cost savings to be expected in the coming years and the clear valuation discount vs brewing, spirits and FMCG companies. BUY, € 45 target.


3Q11 volume expected up 1.6%, of which 1.3% organic. We remind that Heineken commented at the time of the 1H results release about volume weakness in July and early August due topoor weather in Europe and low consumer confidence. We expect no major surprises vs comments given in August, meaning a weak 3Q volume performance in Western Europe. CEE is expected to show a mixed picture with Russian volumes expected to continue to recover after last year’s pricing adjustments and thereby offsetting an expected steep decline in Greece. Furthermore we expect the Dutch portfolio to continue to decline in the US with still growth from the Mexican brands. The Mexican business will in our opinion still be affected by the ongoing brand strategy reshuffling. Africa is expected to continue to grow well organically, with additional volume support from acquisitions. APAC (most of which is equity consolidated) is also expected to continue to grow well. We refer to the next page for a detailed regional overview of our and consensus volume forecasts.

FY guidance expected to be reiterated. The weak volumes in summer in Europe have, in combination with ramp-up costs for the Global Business Services organization, prompted Heineken to be quite cautious about 2H and by guiding for a flat FY net profit (beia), on an organic basis(1H11 net profit (beia) grew 5.7% organically). Our scenario incorporates an approximately flat 2H net profit (beia), including some smaller scope effects.

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