Heineken Sales Down in US

First half sales fall 2.5%

Dutch brewer Heineken NV reported first half net profit fell by 8 percent to $430.4 million versus the same period last year. The company blamed the weak dollar and costs from restructuring its business in Western Europe.

In the United States, where Heineken owns or distributes brands representing 26 percent of imported beer, sales volumes fell 2.5 percent, the company said.

“Price competition among the US brewers intensified in the first half of 2005, while competition from wine and spirits continued to have an adverse impact on total beer consumption, which is estimated to have decreased by just over 1 percent,” Heineken said.

The Amsterdam-based company said markets were generally weaker in The Netherlands, U.S., and Nigeria, and stronger in Southern Europe, Asia, and Argentina.

Heineken spent 34 million euros ($42.4 million) on restructuring in the first half, which it said will save 50 million euros annually in the future. Ignoring these costs, profit would have risen by around 5.4 percent, Heineken said.