Heineken expects 2020 operating profit to rise by mid single-digit percentage

BRUSSELS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Heineken, the world’s second-largest beer maker, said on Wednesday it expects operating profit this year to grow by a mid-single digit percentage after 2019 earnings came in line with expectations.

The Dutch maker of Heineken, Europe’s top-selling lager, as well as Tiger, Sol and Strongbow cider, said its annual operating profit before one-offs rose by 3.9% on a like-for-like basis last year to 4.02 billion euros ($4.39 billion).

The company had tempered profit hopes in October, saying it would rise by 4%, the bottom of its previous forecast of mid-single digit percentage growth.

Heineken said volume and price growth, together with consumers shifting up to more expensive beers, and a more moderate rise in input costs would lead to mid-single digit percentage rise in operating profit this year.

The average market expectation is for profit growth of 6% this year, according to a company-compiled consensus. ($1 = 0.9166 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Aditya Soni)