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Heineken reports strong beer sales as it taps growing regional demand

A delivery driver unloads cases of Heineken beer at a Phnom Penh store yesterday.
A delivery driver unloads cases of Heineken beer at a Phnom Penh store yesterday.

Heineken reports strong beer sales as it taps growing regional demand

Dutch brewing giant Heineken NV experienced strong growth in beer sales throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including Cambodia, during the first quarter of 2016, a company representative said yesterday.

“We experienced double-digit growth versus the industry growth that is broadly in line with GDP growth,” said Mark Campbell, director of regional corporate relations for Heineken Asia Pacific.

He explained that consolidated sales volume of Heineken beverages – including its Tiger, ABC, Anchor and Crown brands – topped 5.8 million hectolitres (mhl) during the first quarter of 2016, a 31 per cent increase over the same period a year earlier. Sales of the company’s flagship Heineken brand grew 5.2 per cent to 1.6 mhl during the period.

While he would not disclose sales or revenue figures, Campbell said factors including “growing consumer demand in the premium segment and broader distribution” were driving “double-digit growth in Cambodia”.

The beer giant’s sales growth follows a four-month dry spell in mid-2015 during which Heineken beer remained off the market in Cambodia due to a dispute between the company’s current and former local distributor.

The Dutch lager’s brief absence followed Heineken Asia-Pacific’s decision to reassign exclusive Cambodia distribution rights to a local subsidiary, Cambodia Brewery Ltd, after Attwood Import Export’s 10-year contract to distribute the beer in Cambodia expired in December 2014. An agreement reached between the parties in August 2015 saw Heineken beer flow back onto the market.

Establishments that sell Heineken beer that the Post spoke to yesterday said they had not noticed any significant growth in sales, but said the brand had a loyal following.

“Our crowd is internationally mixed and sales of Heineken have always been steady,” said Nivit Tep, owner of Pontoon nightclub in Phnom Penh.

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