Heineken has reported volume sales were up 8.3% last year, its best performance in over ten years.

It added net revenue was up 5.6%, with net profits up 4.3%.

Chairman and CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer, who announced he would be leaving Heineken on 1 June yesterday, said in 2019 the business had delivered “another year of superior top-line growth, with continued strong performance in the second half.

“Growth was well balanced with beer volume up 3.1% and revenue per hectolitre up 3.3%, driven by robust pricing and focus on premiumisation. The Heineken brand growth accelerated to 8.3%, with more than 40 countries delivering double digit growth. The successful roll-out of Heineken 0.0 continued and it is now available in 57 markets.

“Our strategy continues to be growth oriented with an ever-increasing emphasis on the sustainability of this growth, both socially and environmentally. Over the past decade, we have lowered our water usage by almost a third to 3.4 hectolitres of water per hectolitre produced, ahead of our 2020 target. We increased the proportion of renewable energy in production to 19%. In more than 60 markets, we spent over 10% of Heineken media budgets on responsible consumption awareness campaigns.

“We closed the year with an operating profit (beia) organic growth of 3.9%. In a context of increased input costs, we have continued to work on the efficiency of our operations whilst steadily investing behind our brands, our sustainability agenda and our digital transformation.

Looking ahead to 2020, we expect our operating profit (beia) to grow by mid-single digit on an organic basis, barring major negative macro economic and political developments.”

Van Boxmeer has worked at Heineken since 1984 and was made CEO in 2005. He will be succeeded on 1 June by Dolf van den Brink, who is currently president of Heineken’s Asia-Pacific business.

In April 2009 Heineken announced an investment of £50m into its Star Pubs & Bars estate this year with 150 projects planned, creating an estimated 1,200 jobs.