For 2019, the Group will continue to drive organic net revenue growth while maintaining tight cost control and strict cash discipline. Our regional priorities will be to increase net revenue and the operating margin in Western Europe, drive growth in Asia through premiumisation, and strengthen market leadership in Eastern Europe.
On 28 October, the Group adjusted its 2019 earnings expectations upwards due to solid earnings performance in Western Europe and China, which combined more than offset weakness in Russia.
Consequently, we now expect:
- Organic growth in operating profit of around 10% (previously high-single-digit percentage growth).
Forward-looking statements including, but are not limited to, guidance, expectations, strategies, objectives and statements regarding future events or prospects with respect to the Group’s future financial and operating results. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, any statement that may predict, forecast, indicate or imply future results, performance or achievements, and may contain words such as "expect", "estimate", "intend", "will be", "will continue", "will result", "could", "may", "might" or any variations of such words or other words with similar meanings. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the Group's actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in such forward-looking statements. Prospective information is based on management’s then current expectations or forecasts. Such information is subject to the risk that such expectations or forecasts, or the assumptions underlying such expectations or forecasts, may change. The Group assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting such forward-looking statements.
Some important risk factors that could cause the Group's actual results to differ materially from those expressed in its forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: economic and political uncertainty (including interest rates and exchange rates), financial and regulatory developments, demand for the Group's products, increasing industry consolidation, competition from other breweries, the availability and pricing of materials used by the Group, cost of energy, production- and distribution-related issues, IT failures, market-driven price reductions, litigation, environmental issues and other unforeseen factors. The nature of the Group’s business means that risk factors and uncertainties may arise, and it may not be possible for management to predict all such risk factors, nor to assess the impact of all such risk factors on the Group's business or the extent to which any individual risk factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Accordingly, forward-looking statements should not be relied on as a prediction of actual results.