Despite AB InBev’s beer sales dropping 0.2 % in the first quarter, the Belgian-Brazilian beer giant did generate a turnover increase and a gross profit above expectations.
Difficult American market
AB InBev had mixed results in the first quarter: the beer brewer sold 134.8 million hectoliters globally, down 0.2 %, but at the same time, it generated an additional 4.7 % from those lower volumes. First quarter turnover reached 13.1 billion dollar (11 billion euro), up 4.7 % compared to the 3.6 % increase analysts had forecast.
The company continues to struggle in the American market in particular: Budweiser and Bud Lite sales suffer from craft beers’ increased popularity in the United States. AB InBev’s main brands did perform well elsewhere: Budweiser grew 2.5 % and Stella Artois ranked second with a 12.3 % increase, trailing only Corona which sold an additional 25 % worldwide.
AB InBev can wash away its disappointing sales with a gross company profit that exceeded 5 billion dollars (4.2 billion euro) in the past quarter (+ 6.6 %). The beer brewer’s net profit dropped slightly: it dropped from 1.46 billion dollars (1.23 billion euro) to 1.44 billion dollars (1.21 billion euro).