Heineken says Irish Lager Market growing
Heineken Ireland said today that it had taken a 21.6% share by volume of the Irish beer market in 2006, up 1.3 points on 2005, as consumers' preference for lager expanded.
The Cork-based brewery, which produces Murphy's stout, Heineken lager, Amstel and other beers, had sales of €332m last year, a rise of 2%.
Coors Light experienced 17.4% growth in on-trade (pubs, clubs and hotels), and 32.3% growth on the off- trade (off-licences) 2005 figures.
Heineken valued the Irish beer market at €3.2 billion, and said off-trade continues to take an increasing slice of the market with volume growth of 17.4% over the year. Off-trade now accounts for 29% of the Irish beer market.
Heineken said that lager continues to gain market share, at the expense of stout, and in the year to December lager accounted for a 60% share of the total beer market, with stout falling 4% to 34%.
The company launched international speciality beers last year, and says it plans to become the leading supplier of 'speciality lagers' to the Irish market this year.
Overall the Dutch brewer reported net profits of €1.2 billion for last year, up almost 60% on 2005, though this included exceptional gains.
When these are excluded, underlying profits grew by 12.6% to €930m on 10% higher sales of €11.8 billion. The volume of beer sold by the company was up 11% on the previous year, helped by acquisitions.
The company said the world beer market would continue to grow in 2007, and it expected net profits to rise by between 10% and 13%.