FILE PHOTO: A photo illustration of a bucket with Heineken beers at a pub in Singapore
INTERNATIONAL - Strong demand for Heineken’s Tiger brand in Asia helped the world’s second-largest brewer to mitigate the effects of cold weather in Europe in the first quarter.

Beer shipments rose 4.3percent in the period, the Amsterdam-based company said yesterday. That was above a company-provided analyst consensus of 4.1percent but below the Bloomberg-compiled estimate of 4.8percent. 

The shares fell as much as 2.7percent early yesterday. Tiger has been driving growth in Asia, where Heineken’s biggest markets include Vietnam and Cambodia. That helped to compensate for weakness in Europe, where mass-market lagers are losing ground to fruitier beers. Cold weather reduced demand in Europe, with declines across France, Spain and Austria, chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said in a statement. 

The results were “satisfactorily in-line”, RBC Europe analyst James Edwardes Jones wrote in a note to investors. The company reiterated that it anticipates an increase in sales and profit this year.