April 18, 2018 / 6:46 AM / a month ago

Heineken boosts beer sales in Asia, Americas helped by early Easter

BRUSSELS, April 18 (Reuters) - Heineken NV, the world’s second largest brewer, sold more beer in the first quarter of 2018 than a year earlier, helped by an earlier Easter and with sharp volume increases in Asia and the Americas.

The Dutch maker of Heineken, Tiger and Sol lagers said on Wednesday that its beer volumes were up 4.3 percent year-on-year, a shade below the average forecast in a Reuters poll of 5.0 percent.

The company benefited from an earlier Easter than in 2017, with stocking ahead of the festive period taking place in March rather than April, boosting volumes in the Americas and a later lunar New Year, helping Heineken in Asia.

The company said it retained its full-year outlook - that its operating profit margin should expand by around 25 basis points.

The company also said that the negative transitional impact of currencies would be 200 million euros ($247.4 million) on operating profit based on current exchange rates. In mid-February, it had put this figure at 190 million euros. ($1 = 0.8085 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)

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