BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Heineken, the world's second-largest beer maker, forecast its operating profit to grow at nearly the same rate in 2019 as last year, when beer sales increased in all its markets.
The Dutch brewer of Heineken, Tiger and Sol lagers and Strongbow cider, said it expected continued economic volatility, but improved revenue, driven by increased beer sales, higher prices and consumers trading up to more expensive drinks.
"Going into 2019, we expect the environment to remain uncertain and volatile. Overall, we anticipate our operating profit (beia) to grow by mid-single digit on an organic basis," Chief Executive Jean-Francois Boxmeer said in a statement.
The brewer's operating profit before one-offs rose 6.4 percent on a like-for-like basis in 2018 to 3.87 billion euros (3.40 billion pounds), just above the average forecast of 3.85 billion euros in a Reuters poll.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)