Heineken toasts ‘superior’ 2019 results in parting shot to longtime CEO

REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Dutch brewer Heineken cheered on Wednesday a jump in profits for 2019, as the company said its CEO was stepping down after 15 years at the helm.

Heineken, the world’s second largest brewer after AB InBev, posted profits of €2.1 billion (£1.76 billion), up 13 percent on the previous year.

The beer giant, which tied up a deal with the biggest Chinese brewer China Resources Beer in April, reported turnover of €28.5 billion, up 6.4 percent.

“In 2019, we delivered another year of superior top-line growth, with continued strong performance in the second half,” said CEO Jean-Francois van Boxmeer.

Jean Francois van Boxmeer (REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo)

Heineken announced late Tuesday that Boxmeer is due to step down in June and be replaced by Dolf van den Brink, the brewer’s current Asia-Pacific head.

The brewer said its flagship Heineken brand grew 8.3 percent in 2019, compared to 7.7 percent, “the best in a decade”.

Heineken predicted profit to grow by “mid-single digit” in 2020 “barring major negative macro economic and political developments.”

It said it was “not possible to assess the extent and duration of the impact of coronavirus” on its business.

Founded in the 19th century, Heineken produces and sells more than 250 brands including Desperados tequila-flavoured beer, Sol, John Smith’s and Strongbow cider.

It employs about 80,000 people in 70 countries around the world.