AB InBev reports 34% profit surge

The world’s largest brewer has reported a fourth quarter rise in normalised profits of 34% on 2012, with the World Cup promising to boost sales in Brazil.

AB InBev

While many drinks companies are experiencing a slow down in demand and volatile emerging markets, Anheuser-Busch InBev appear to be bucking the trend.

AB InBev’s fourth-quarter net profit was $2.52 billion, compared with $1.74 billion a year earlier representing a 34% increase.

Profits attributable to equity holders rose by 10.2% to US$7.9 billion, or US$4.91 per share, compared to US$7.2 billion, or US$4.50 per share in 2012.

Total revenue increased by 3.3% to US$43.2 billion, attributed to a good performance by global brands which grew by 4.7%.

Sales of Budweiser, the official sponsor of this year’s FIFA world cup, rose by 6.4%, while sales of Corona grew by 3.9%, with a strong performance in Mexico.

Despite favourable profits, total beverage volumes sold around the world fell by 2% in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier.

In Brazil, the brewer’s second-largest market by sales, beer volumes declined by 4.3% in 2013 which the brewer blamed on “poor weather and high food inflation putting pressure on consumer disposable income”, however it is hoped this year’s World Cup will help to boost sales.

The brewer currently sells more than one in five beers consumed world wide.

Inge Plochaet, business unit president of AB InBev UK, said: “We are pleased with the performance of AB InBev UK’s beer and cider brands in 2013 in a challenging market. Budweiser in particular performed well, with volumes up 3%.

“This was driven by growth in off trade retail and draught distribution in the on trade. With Budweiser as the official beer sponsor of the FIFA World Cup 2014™, we’re looking forward to another exciting year.”

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