Heineken expects business environment to remain challenging


Heineken Malaysia Bhd managing director Roland Bala addressing guests at the Tiger CNY 2024 media launch at Sunway Velocity Mall KL.

KUALA LUMPUR: Heineken Malaysia Bhd remains cautious and expects the business environment to remain challenging in 2024 after a soft beer market in 2023.

“This alongside the rising cost of living, geopolitical uncertainties, and weakening ringgit could have a negative impact on consumer sentiment and spending. We will continue to adopt an agile approach in delivering our 2024 ambition.

“This year, we will remain committed to our EverGreen strategy, focusing on delivering superior and balanced growth amidst these dynamic conditions,” managing director Roland Bala said in a statement.

The group also welcomes the stance taken by the Government not to increase excise duties on beer in its latest Budget 2024, as any hike in excise rates will drive greater demand for illicit alcohol.

“The group will continue to monitor and support the authorities in addressing this issue through comprehensive efforts and promoting greater awareness in the market,” he said.

In the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, Heineken posted a lower net profit of RM99.1mil, or earnings per share of 32.80 sen compared with RM104.6mil, or 34.64 sen posted in the same quarter last year.

Its revenue was lower at RM728.6mil against RM791.7mil a year ago.

For the full financial year ended Dec 31, 2023 (FY23), Heineken posted a net profit of RM386.8mil, down 6.3% from RM412.8mil previously while revenue decreased by 8% to RM2.64bil compared with RM2.85bil in FY22.

Heineken said comparatively, the group had a strong base in 2022 following the re-opening of the economy at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to the rebound in FY22, the group views its FY23 performance as a form of market correction,” it added.

The board has proposed a single-tier final dividend of 88 per stock unit for FY23. The proposed final dividend will be paid on July 25 to shareholders registered at the close of business on June 28.

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