UPDATE 2-Heineken sees return to revenue growth after weak 2013

miércoles 12 de febrero de 2014 05:43 GYT

* Sees organic revenue growth in 2014 after 0.1 pct rise in 2013

* 2013 net profit down 2.0 pct at 1.59 bln as expected

* African improvement in Q4

* Shares up 3 pct, among strongest among European blue chips (Adds shares, margin, cost savings, CEO on Nigeria, Mexico)

By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Heineken, the world's third-largest brewer, forecast a return to revenue growth this year with higher beer sales in Africa, Asia and Latin America after a slowdown in several emerging markets in 2013.

The Dutch maker of Europe's top-selling Heineken lager as well as Sol, tequila-flavoured Desperados and Strongbow cider said on Wednesday 2013 had been challenging with difficulties in eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa.

The brewer said revenue grew by just 0.1 percent last year as price rises failed to offset a sharp decline in overall volumes. For 2014, Heineken said revenue should grow on a like-for-like basis and excluding currency translation effects.

Growth and cost cuts should help its operating margin improve, it said. Heineken expects its latest three-year savings plan, TCM2, to hit its 625 million euro ($855 million) target this year.   Continuación...