Heineken profit higher than expected after Asia rebound

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BRUSSELS, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Heineken (HEIN.AS), the world's second-largest brewer, reported a higher-than-expected profit in 2022 thanks to growth in all markets and a sharp rebound in Asia, and repeated its forecast of a profit increase this year.

The maker of Europe's top-selling beer Heineken, along with Tiger and Sol lagers, said its operating profit before one-offs rose by 24.0% to 4.50 billion euros ($4.82 billion), compared with the average figure of 4.43 billion euros in a company-compiled poll.

The Dutch brewer retained its forecast that its operating profit would rise by a mid- to high-single-digit percentage in 2023.

Heineken said it expects to exceed the 2 billion euro cost-savings target of its "EverGreen" strategic revamp this year. It has said it will then find productivity improvements of 400 million euros per year, equivalent to about 2% of annual expenses.

The brewer sold 6.9% more beer globally than in 2021, with higher priced "premium" beers rising at a faster pace. Sales in Asia were up by nearly a third, the rebound coming a year after COVID-19 restrictions were in place in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and its largest Asian market, Vietnam.

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Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Tom Hogue

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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