A wet European summer pours cold water on Heineken's revenues. The Dutch brewer reports lower than expected beer sales as consumers drink less. Axel Threlfall reports.
SOUNDBITE: Axel Threlfall, Reuters, saying (English): ''Not an especially refreshing start for Heineken this morning .... the world's third largest brewer, reporting lower than expected beer sales in Q3 as wet weather reduced drinking in Europe. Shares were hit at the open and remain lower an hour or so into trade. The brewer which makes Heineken, Sol and Tiger, said beer sales were barely changed in Q3 with declines in both eastern and western Europe, but increases elsewhere. Worth noting that in eastern Europe, Russian laws on alcohol sales as well as a weakening economy, and competitor price pressure in Poland, added to poor weather. Strongest growth came from the Asia-Pacific region, with strong volume increases of its Tiger brand in Vietnam and Malaysia. The company did, though, retain its full-year outlook saying it was on track to hit its margin expansion targets. Rivals Anhouser Bush and Carlsberg report Oct 31 and November 11 respectively.''