more active part in information. A forth
coming industry-wide approach in The
Netherlands will accordingly receive
every support from us.
During the period under review we have
again enjoyed good labour relationships
throughout the Group.
We wish to express our gratitude here for
the way in which our employees in The
Netherlands and abroad have once again
worked energetically for the interests of
On December 311979, there were 20,298
persons employed in the consolidated
companies, compared with 19,719 at the
end of September 1978.
In the 'seventies the demand for our pro
ducts in The Netherlands and abroad has
risen constantly. Our beer brands occupy a
leading position in many markets, witness
also the fact that in the past ten years the
volume of beer brewed under Heineken's
supervision has more than doubled. In the
same period the Soft Drinks and Spirit and
Wine groups have also undergone consi
derable growth, becoming an essential
part of the activities in The Netherlands.
The deliberately pursued policy of inter
nationalization has made a substantial
contribution to this prosperous course
of affairs. The broadening of the basis in
Europe, particularly in France, Italy and
Greece, constitutes a special element in
the geographical expansion.
Another striking example of internationa
lization is the position which we have won
in the United States, as a result of which
this market has grown to be one of the
mainstays of our enterprise. In addition,
during the past ten years we have streng
thened our position in many other areas by
the enlargement of export activities, the
acquisition of participations or the granting
of licences. This expansion has been
accompanied by a profit growth such that
sufficient appropriations to reserves could
be made to maintain the shareholders'
equity. The consequence of this was that
the financial basis of the Group has re
mained healthy. A solid foundation has
thus been laid for the continuity of our
Building on what has been achieved in the
past, we take a positive view as regards the
years ahead and we see adequate possibili
ties for further extension of our activities.
In that connection it is of vital importance
that we should continue to follow closely
the latest developments in the engineering
and technological fields. We shall also
continue to give a quick commercial res
ponse to changing market conditions. For
this purpose we have devoted employees
at our disposal.
As we pointed out previously, the extent
to which the sales growth is reflected in
the earnings remains highly dependent on
factors - apart from the internal cost con
trol - upon which we have no influence or
only limited influence.
We believe, however, that through the in
ternational nature of our activities we can
cope with negative influences through po
sitive actions and factors.
In these circumstances it may be expected
that the earnings of the enterprise will at
least be maintained at a satisfactory level.
Sales proceeds (in millions of guilders)
Spirits and wine