Heineken, the world’s third-largest brewer, has launched a 500 million euro ($657 million) cost savings plan, and forecast revenue growth in emerging markets would mitigate higher barley costs this year.
Heineken, which saved 614 million euros under its previous three-year plan, said on Wednesday it would drive operational efficiency and seek synergy benefits from its recently formed global business services unit over the next three years.
The maker of Europe’s top-selling Heineken lager and Amstel said 2011 net profit before one-offs was 1.58 billion euros, compared with a forecast for 1.52 billion.
Heineken, present in all the problematic euro zone periphery nations including Greece, said it expected to benefit this year from growth in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
The company said it expected a 6 percent rise in input costs, primarily reflecting higher prices for malted barley.
Brewers tend to hedge input costs a year in advance. So Heineken, like its peers, is set to be hit by a sharp increase in commodity prices in 2011 when future prices for malted barley were 40 percent higher.