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April 8, 2020, 2:29 a.m. EDT

Heineken pulls guidance, sees worsening virus hit

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By Joe Hoppe

Heineken Holding NV said Wednesday that it will withdraw its financial guidance for 2020 as beer volumes for its first quarter fell in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Amsterdam-based brewer--which also owns the Sol, Birra Moretti and Tiger beer brands--said it was facing a "significant impact" on its markets as governments around the world implement stringent restrictions on movement to curb the spread of the disease.

The company said that for the first quarter of 2020 it expects to announce a consolidated total volume decrease of around 4% organically, with beer volume loss of around 2%, and it expects the hit to worsen into the second quarter.

Heineken said it has a strong balance sheet to navigate the crisis, with undrawn credit facilities and recently secured additional financing on the debt capital market. It said it will soon provide details on mitigating actions to preserve its cost base.

Write to Joe Hoppe at joseph.hoppe@wsj.com

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