Heineken to cut 8,000 jobs as pandemic takes fizz out of sales

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THE HAGUE – Dutch brewing giant said on Wednesday (Feb 10) it would around 8,000 worldwide as the coronavirus kept much of the hospitality sector closed.

Heineken, the world’s number two brewer, said it recorded a net loss of 204 million euros (S$328 million) in 2020, a 109 per cent fall in profits from the year before.

Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink said it had been “a year of unprecedented disruption and transition” for the company.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and governments’ measures continue to have a material impact on our markets and business,” Heineken said in a statement.

fell by 17 per cent to 23 billion euros with bars and cafes closed in many countries, the company said.

Less than 30 per cent of outlets were operating in Europe in particular at the end of January, it said.

Heineken had announced in October that restructuring was needed to reduce personnel costs but gave no figure for layoffs at the time.

“The overall restructuring programme will reduce our employee base by c.8,000 people,” Wednesday’s statement said.

This included including cutting jobs at the head office in Amsterdam while other layoffs would depend on local circumstances, it added.

Founded in the 19th century in Amsterdam, Heineken sells more than 300 brands, including its namesake plus others such as Strongbow and Amstel. It employs 85,000 people globally.

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