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Heineken set to cut 8,000 jobs as pandemic hits sales

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Heineken, the Dutch brewing giant is set to cut jobs massively.

The brewing giant said on Wednesday it would cut around 8,000 jobs worldwide as the coronavirus pandemic pushed it into the red, the Agence France Presse, AFP, reports.

The world’s number two brewer after Belgian-Brazilian AB InBev will slash nearly 10 per cent of its workforce as Covid restrictions keep bars and restaurants closed.

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Heineken reported a net loss of 204 million euros ($247 million) for 2020, compared with a net profit of 2.1 billion euros a year earlier, while sales fell 17 per cent to 23 billion euros.

Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink, who took charge last April, said it had been “a year of unprecedented disruption and transition” for the company.

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The Dutchman said the layoffs were part of efforts to reshape Heineken, whose brands include Strongbow and Amstel, targeting two billion euros of savings by 2023.

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

The brewer’s beer sales fell 8.1 per cent for the year, although its core Heineken brand only dropped 0.4 per cent, “significantly outperforming the total market”, it said.

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The brand grew double-digits in 25 markets including Brazil, China and Britain, it added.

The zero-alcohol Heineken 0.0 was a rare bright spot, with single-digit growth globally.

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