“Our performance in 2009 reflects our value-focused strategy. This performance is all more valuable under a challenging economic environment, that saw sales volumes decline markedly, both market wide and company wide. The investments in our core brands coupled with our strategy of focusing on our base assets have helped us increase our turnover by 9%. Throughout 2009, we have improved our ability to generate cash flow through an extensive revision of investments, by putting in place cost and working capital management programs”, said Jan Derck van Karnebeek (photo), chief executive of Heineken Romania.

According to data provided by the Association of Romanian Brewers, in 2009 the local beer market decreased by 13%, driven by the off-trade channel, which was negatively affected by declining purchasing power.

Last year, the market shares of price segments have remained approximately unchanged, excepting the mainstream sector that saw a mild increase in the trailing year. The super premium segment recorded 9% market share (AC Nielsen 2009), premium segment – 11.3%, mainstream – 38.1%, economy segment - 38.9% and NA beer – 2.7%.

As for packaging, PET bottles and cans’ shares increased slightly while glass bottles and kegs declined in 2009 from a year earlier. Glass bottles had a market share of 37.3%, PET packaging – 46.1%, can beer – 14.3% and kegs – 2.3% (AC Nielsen 2009).

The ratio between HoReCa and retail remained unchanged, HoReCa channel having 31% share while Retail channel had 69% share in 2009.

“The visibility remains low for 2010, due to the local and global economic crisis. The performance of the beer market will depend on a host of factors, such as buying power, consumer habits, and the country’s economic conditions”, CEO of Heineken Romania said.

Heineken’s products cover all market segments : Ciuc Premium, Golden Brau, Neumarkt, Bucegi, Edelweiss (import), Zipfer (import), Gösser, Schlossgold, Silva, Gambrinus, Harghita and Hategana. Heineken Romania has breweries in Miercurea Ciuc, Targu Mures, Craiova and Constanta and employs 1,100.