Review by region
France Growth of Heineken and specialty beers
The beer market in France was below the 1999 level. Premium and specialty beers improved their
position, whereas low-priced and non-alcoholic beers declined further.
Although Sogebra's sales volume was down on the previous year, its market share grew. The prof
itability improved thanks to cost savings and improvements in the sales mix.
Sales of Heineken beer rose. The specialties also increased in volume, with Desperados account
ing for most of the growth. Amstel, which is only available in the on-premise sector in France, main
tained its sales volume. Sales of "33" Export were down on 1999. Sales volume of "33" Export in PET
bottles rose. In addition to the existing 50 cl bottle, a litre bottle has now been put on the market
too. Panach', a popular shandy, is now available in this packaging as well. Sogebra started installing
a filling line for PET bottles.
Our brewery introduced a traditional beer from the Alsace under the name Doreleï. The number
of outlets under the Irish 'Murphy's House pub' concept was further expanded.
In the declining low-priced beers segment there was competition from very low-priced canned
beer from Germany. Added to this, exports of low-priced beer from France to the United Kingdom
were falling. This put pressure on sales of our beers in this segment, which resulted in excess capac
ity at the Adelshoffen brewery in Schiltigheim. For this reason the brewery was closed in the course
of the year; the remaining production was transferred to the brewery in St. Omer. A social package
was agreed with the employees.
Italy Heineken and Moretti improve sales mix
A healthy economy and favourable weather conditions provided for growth in the Italian beer mar
ket, which has shown modest growth for the last three years. The premium segment in particular
is growing. The share of beer sales via the modern food trade is rising. Beer consumption appears
to be gradually becoming less dependent on the season.
The sales volume and profitability of Heineken Italia increased. The main brands, Heineken and
Moretti, performed well, as did the specialty beers, which improved the sales mix. Our Ichnusa
brand, the biggest selling beer brand on Sardinia, showed an increase in sales. Sales of some beers
positioned lower in the market declined.
Heineken again sponsored a number of popular music events in 2000, including the third edition
of Heineken Jammin' and the Umbria Jazz Festival. Moretti maintained its ties with football by organ
izing the fourth Birra Moretti trophy, in which top Italian clubs competed against each other. In ad
dition, Moretti developed activities involving the European football championship. The reposition
ing in 1999 of the Dreher brand and the marketing activities involving this brand in 2000 produced
a stabilization of its sales. Heineken Italia tested the market on a modest scale for the acceptance of
Dreher beer in PET packaging. The initial results are encouraging and introduction on a national
scale is planned for 2001.
Partesa, Heineken Italia's organization of beverage wholesalers, continued its extensive pro
gramme of acquisition. The implementation of a large number of improvements in the organization
of Partesa had a positive impact on its profitability. Consolidation in the entire beverage wholesale
sector is accelerating.
HEINEKEN N.V. ANNUAL REPORT 2000