A-B InBev released its H1 results today

A-B InBev released its H1 results today

Earlier today, Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a jump in first-half operating profits, but global volumes were down. Here, just-drinks takes a closer look at the group's performance by region and brands: 

Regions

North America 

Volumes in the region fell 1.8% in Q2 and 3.4% in H1. In the US, A-B InBev posted a 2.8% drop in volumes in both Q2 and H1 as bad weather impacted sales. The company said its market share declined by 40bps in the quarter because of share losses in its value brands. In Canada, poor weather drove a decline of 3.7% in the quarter compared to a 3.4% industry decline.

Latin America North

Volumes fell  by 1.5% in Q2, with beer volumes down 0.4% and soft drinks volumes declining by 4.6%. In H1, volumes decreased 3.7%, with beer volumes falling 4.2%, and soft drinks down 2.5%.

Beer volumes in Brazil dropped by 0.4% for the quarter compared to 8.2% in Q1. Brazil beer sales-per-hectolitre grew by 10.0% in Q2 and by 9.3% in H1. EBITDA for Latin America North rose by 5.5% in Q2 and 3.4% in H1.

Latin America South

Total volumes in the region fell by 0.8% in Q2 and by 6.4% in H1, however EBITDA increased by 20% because of “strong” sales-per-hectolitre growth, A-B InBev said. Argentina bounced back in Q2 with beer volumes growth of 3.4% in Q2, compared to a 10.7% fall in Q1.

Western Europe

Volumes fell 7% in Q2 and H1 as cold weather hurt sales. Germany was hardest hit, with Q2 own-beer volumes down by 11.9% because of “a weak industry and market share loss, driven by our price increase”, A-B InBev said. The UK also dropped, with volumes down by 8.6% in the quarter. The Western Europe region posted a 7% EBITDA decrease in Q2 and 7.4% for the first half.

Central & Eastern Europe

The region posted a 6.1% beer volumes drop in Q2 and a 10.1% fall in H1. Russia's beer volumes dropped by 10.2% because of “sales, marketing and distribution restrictions”, A-B InBev said. Brewers have been hit in the country by new laws restricting alcohol advertising and limits on where beer can be sold. Last month, A-B InBev closed one of its Russian breweries, blaming government regulation and tax increases.

However, the company managed to increase EBITDA in the region, which rose by 3.5% in Q2 and 3.1% for H1.

Asia-Pacific

The brewer's regional beer volumes increased by 5.1% in Q2 and 9.2% in H1. China volumes increased by 5%, with A-B InBev's Focus Brands growing volumes by 11.8%. The company says it grew market share in the country by 40bps in the fist five months of the year.

Brands

Global Budweiser volumes rose by 6.3% in Q2.

Combined, Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Beck’s volumes grew by 2.9%, compared to a 4.7% increase in Q1.

In the US, the Bud Light brand family grew share because of gains by Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita and Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita. Meanwhile, Budweiser Black Crown offset losses from Budweiser, the company said.

Expert analysis

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