Heineken has said that volume growth in the UK was in double digits in 2018.
The group said that across European markets it had seen “healthy growth” from both Heineken Original and Heineken 0.0.
Globally, it reported consolidated beer volumes up 4.2% with growth in all regions. Its core Heineken brand volume growth of 7.7% was its best performance in over a decade.
On the outlook for 2019, the company said it expected continued volatility in economic conditions; superior top-line growth driven by volume, price and premiumisation; mid-single digit increase of input and logistic costs per hectolitre on an organic basis and continued cost management and productivity initiatives.
Chairman and chief executive Jean-François van Boxmeer said: “In 2018 we delivered another year of superior top-line growth. The Heineken® brand grew 7.7%, its best performance in over a decade, with Heineken® 0.0 now available in 38 countries. Our premium portfolio grew double digit, led by our international brands, craft & variety and cider portfolios. All regions grew and Brazil recorded a strong performance following the successful integration of our two businesses. Our operating profit margin (beia) decreased by 17 bps due to the first time consolidation of Brazil, rising input costs and adverse currency developments. A key milestone in 2018 was the announcement of the strategic partnership with CRE to join forces in China, a big opportunity for both companies, which is pending regulatory approval.
“Our strategic priorities are growth oriented with an ever-increasing emphasis on the sustainability of this growth, both socially and environmentally. We focus on innovation and operational excellence so our consumers enjoy our brands and we exceed our customers’ expectations, whilst seeking productivity improvements and constantly reassessing our spending behaviour. Going into 2019, we expect the environment to remain uncertain and volatile. Overall, we anticipate our operating profit (beia) to grow by mid-single digit on an organic basis.”