over 3 years ago • 2 mins
Shhhhh, not so loud: Heineken’s quarterly results might’ve beaten expectations on Wednesday, but they left investors with a grim taste in their mouths 😖
Beer is still very much a tonic for these trying times, but it’s one Heineken’s customers are knocking back in their own homes rather than out and about. And that isn’t good news for the world second-biggest beer brewer: it doesn’t just make less money from stores than it does from bars, it spends more on producing cans and bottles too.
So with the pandemic surging worldwide yet again – and with stay-at-home orders traipsing not far behind – Heineken’s decided it needs to cut costs ✂️ And while it previously promised not to cut jobs this year, it turns out the company can’t stick to that in 2021: it’s planning to reduce its workforce by 20%.
At least rival Carlsberg came away from its earnings update on Tuesday feeling fresher: the brewer’s beer sales were stronger than analysts had expected, which might be down to strong performances in places like Russia and China 🍺 It lifted its 2020 profit forecast for the second time in a row too, while the only thing Heineken had to say about the rest of the year was that it’d be volatile.
Heineken’s now looking to win over new beer-drinkers by doubling down on the alcohol-free market. And that might prove a shrewd move: Carlsberg – whose booze-free segment grew by 29% last quarter – reckons the market in Western Europe will triple to 15% in the next few years, while brewing powerhouse AB InBev has pledged that zero-alcohol drinks will make up 20% of its portfolio by 2025. And if they can make it taste like beer by then, all the better.
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