For the first time in 18 months, Belgian-Brazilian brewer AB InBev managed to grow its sales volumes. South African success, a new market following its SABMiller acquisition, was part of the reason.
AB InBev’s second quarter turnover grew 5 % to 14.2 billion dollars (12 billion euro), exceeding analysts’ expectations, which stood at 3.7 %.
Sales volumes also grew 1 % to 158 million hectoliters, with strong performances in South Africa, Mexico and Australia. South African turnover spiked 13.4 % for AB InBev. It is a market where it became active after its SABMiller acquisition.
Not only the higher volumes contributed to the turnover growth, because the higher beer prices also did their part. AB InBev has placed increased focus on more expensive beers, like how Stella Artois is considered a premium beer in a lot of countries.
Drop in Brazil and United States
Thanks to the higher turnover and the SABMiller synergies worth 335 million dollars (286 million euro), its EBITDA also grew 11.8 % to 5.4 billion dollars (4.6 billion euro). Profit per share did slump from 1.06 to 0.95 dollars because of negative South American exchange rate fluctuations.
The company also had a fractured performance, masked by its positive end result. US turnover dropped 0.2 % and its market share also slumped. Budweiser and Bud Light are facing increased pressure, because a lot of consumers are moving towards the high-end brands.
Brazilian turnover also dipped 3.8 % and volumes 1.3 %, which is still better than the industry’s average (down 2.7 % in volume). Its local performance was “affected by turbulent political and macroeconomic environments, driving high unemployment rates and low consumer confidence.”