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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Heineken says emerging markets will drink more in 2014, Europe less

AMSTERDAM - Heineken NV says it expects higher sales volumes in 2014 as growth in emerging markets outweighs falling consumption in Europe. It also plans "modest" price hikes.

The Dutch brewer, however, stopped short of forecasting higher revenues for the year because weaker emerging market currencies will hurt its reported numbers. Developing markets account for about half its business.

The family-controlled company said it plans to increase profits this year by cutting costs and shedding an unspecified number of employees.

Heineken reported a 52 per cent fall in net profit for the year 2013, to 1.36 billion euros ($1.85 billion), from 2.91 billion euros in 2012, when it booked a one-time gain of 1.49 billion euros on its Asian Pacific Breweries business. Revenues increased 1.3 per cent to 21.3 billion euros.

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