Full-year revenue rose 7.4 per cent to €18,4bn (£15.9bn) in 2012, helped by the brewer’s most extensive market campaigns to date for its Birra Morretti and Desperados premium beers as part of a wider move to globalise its world beer brands.
Heineken says increased investment in its second-tier brands such as Sol and Amstel along with several brand extensions during 2012 contributed an additional €1bn. It is prepping a marketing drive for its lower alcohol Foster’s variant Radler, which launched earlier this month, alongside a renewed push for the cider category following the creation of a cider research and development centre in Belgium last June.
Jean-François van Boxmeer,chief executive of Heineken, says: “At the same time we managed a challenging market environment in Europe by continuing to invest in brands and deepening our relationships with customers, which resulted in share gains in many key markets.
“The launch of global brands such as Desperados, Strongbow Gold and Sol in new markets, as well as successful innovation such as ‘Radler’, all contributed to top-line growth. Innovation introduced in the market within the last 3 years now represents €1 billion, or 5.3% of revenues.”
Rival Molson Coors is looking to heavily invest in product innovation this year in a an attempt to premiumise its portfolio after admitting it is too focused on mainstream brands such as Carling and Coors Light.