Heineken Records 14 Percent Drop in Beer Volume
After Grupo Modelo donated 100,000 Corona bottles with purified water for medical personal and patients on April 21, Heineken took a similar step on Wednesday by delivering 75,500 cans of water to government personnel working in COVID-19-related efforts. Of this total, 26,856 were donated to Acapulco authorities, who will distribute them to 22 communal kitchens operated by the municipality. Another 24,000 were donated to the townhall of Azcapotzalco in Mexico City, while 7,200 were delivered to the National Coordination of Civil Protection (CNPC), which has teams monitoring the COVID-19 emergency at a national level. Another 7,200 cans were donated to the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), while the National Guard received 1,200 cans to distribution among its staff assigned to hospitals. Lastly, the Ministry of Citizen Security (SSC) of Mexico City received 9,120 cans of water.
The goal of these deliveries, starting earlier in April, is to support a diversity of institutions that are helping the most vulnerable populations across the country. Cuauhtémoc Heineken, Heineken’s subsidiary in Mexico, suspended beer production on April 5 in light of the government’s instruction for all non-essential activities to stop. In addition to local efforts to help the COVID-19 cause, amounting to US$5 million, the Heineken group is donating US$15 million to the International Red Cross. The company’s majority shareholder, the Heineken-Carvalho family, is donating another US$10 million to eight charities dedicated to vulnerable communities, medical research and the acquisition of medical equipment.
The COVID-19 impact has been severe on beer sales. Heineken recently announced that the company had seen a drop in beer production volume by 14 percent in March globally. In Latin America, beer volume was at -13.8 percent for March. The company earned net profits of US$101.5 million in 1Q20, which was less than a third of the earnings in 1Q19 at US$322.8 million. Citing a “lack of visibility on the end date of the COVID-19 pandemic and the duration of its impact on the economy,” the group announced on March 8 that it would withdraw all guidance for 2020.