Report of the Executive Board
This section presents an overview of HEINEKEN's Risk Management and Control
Systems including a description of the most important risks, HEINEKEN's exposure and
its main mitigation efforts. Managing risks is explicitly on the management's agenda
and embedded in the HEINEKEN Company Rules. Our aim with the Risk Management
and Control Systems is to meet our strategic objectives whilst effectively protecting
the Company and its brands against reputational and financial damage. Continuity
and sustainability of the business are as important to the stakeholders as growing
and operating the business. As a business, we balance our financial sustainability
with playing a role in society. Social responsibility and sustainability underpin
everything we do.
Risk Management and Control Systems
The HEINEKEN Risk Management and Control Systems aim to ensure that the risks of the Company are identified and
managed, and that the strategic objectives are met whilst complying with applicable laws and regulations at a reasonable
level of assurance. A system of controls that ensures adequate financial reporting is in place. HEINEKEN's internal control
system is based on the COSO Internal Control Framework.
The Company is recognised for its drive for quality, consistency and financial discipline. An entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged
across the Group in order to seek opportunities that support continuous growth through business development and brand
building, whilst taking controlled risks. The international spread of the country portfolio, the robust balance sheet and strong
cash flow form the context of the risk appetite of the Company.
HEINEKEN is a single-product company operating in the alcohol-producing business with a high level of commonality in its
worldwide business operations, which are spread over many developed and emerging markets. The worldwide activities are
exposed to varying degrees of risk and uncertainty. Some of these may result in a material impact at the level of a particular
Operating Company if not identified or effectively managed, but may not have material impact on Group level.
As both the Group and its most valuable brand carry the same name, reputation management is of utmost importance.
The image of our sector and products is of key importance to maintain our licence to operate and to grow the beer category
in a responsible manner. This is especially relevant in markets where beer has a less favourable image.
Compared to other leading beer companies, H EINEKEN has a significantly wider geographical spread of its businesses and
therefore does not depend on the performance in a limited number of markets. Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific are
important developing regions for HEINEKEN as its global organic volume growth is largely driven by growth in these regions.
Political instability in parts of these regions could adversely affect earnings and cash flow.
A significant part of the Company's results is realised by joint ventures and via licence agreements. HEINEKEN may face the
risk that joint ventures are not always acting in the best interests of the Company.
HEINEKEN strives to be a sustainable and performance-driven company. This is achieved by doing business, which by nature
involves taking risks and managing those risks. Structured risk assessments are integrated in change projects, business planning,
performance monitoring processes, common processes and system implementations and acquisitions and business integration
activities. The Risk Management and Control Systems are considered to be in balance with HEINEKEN's risk profile and
appetite, although such systems can never provide absolute assurance. HEINEKEN's Risk Management and Control Systems
are subject to continuous review and adaptations in order to remain in balance with its growing business size and changes
in its risk profile.
34 Heineken N.V. Annual Report 2011