Anheuser-Busch InBev’s acquisition last year of SABMiller to create the world’s largest brewer is starting to pay off with sales in the second quarter of 2017 up 5 percent at US$14.2 billion compared with the same quarter last year.
Volume sales of all brands were also up, by 1.0 percent at 158 million hectolitres, meaning that the Belgian-based brewer of brands such as Budweiser and Stella Artois is getting more for each bottle or can.
This is despite continuing poor performance in the brewer’s southern Brazilian heartland where sales fell by 3.8 percent.
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s chief executive Carlos de Brito was pleased with the performance. “The second quarter saw a great performance in many of our markets, especially in South Africa, Western Europe, China and Argentina,” said Brito.
“Our three global brands, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, continue to perform very well with combined revenues growing by almost 9 percent. Additionally, our integration with SAB continues as planned with good synergy capture coming from all of our new markets.”
Anheuser-Busch InBev is driving its premium brands, and in the quarter they were up 9 percent, with Budweiser performing well, supported by a strong China, Brazil and the UK. Stella Artois grew revenues by 6.6 percent, with good volume-led performance coming from Argentina, South Korea, Canada and Australia.
Stella Artois grew revenues by 6.6 percent, with good volume-led performance coming from Argentina, South Korea, Canada and Australia.
Corona continued growth, with sales up by more than 16 percent and by more than 25 percent outside of Mexico, driven by China, UK, Australia, and Colombia.
Volume sales also fell in North America, by 1 percent, and Asia, by 0.1 percent, but these losses were offset by gains of 4.1 percent in Europe and the Middle East, 3.1 percent in South America West, and 12.2 percent in the smaller South America East region.
Net profit on global sales in the second quarter grew to $1.83bn, from $410m in the same quarter of 2016.
Cash flow better reflected the SABMiller acquisition in October 2016. In the first half of 2017 AB InBev’s cash flow was $4.02bn, up by 64 percent on the first half of 2016.