Anheuser-Busch InBev released its full-year results earlier today

Anheuser-Busch InBev released its full-year results earlier today

Earlier today, Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a rise in full-year group sales and net profits on the back of flat volumes. Here, just-drinks takes a look at the brewer's performance in its global markets:

  • North America - full-year volumes down 1.3%, sales up 0.2%

In the US, sales-to-retailer volumes fell by 1.7% in 2014, while sales to wholesalers dipped by 1.5%. A-B InBev's market share suffered in the country "largely due to Budweiser". The brand's market share was down by 30 bps, although A-B InBev said it "remains committed to stabilising the market share of Budweiser". Bud Light had a healthier finish to the year, thanks in part to the 'Up for Whatever' marketing push for the brand. The Bud Light Ritas portfolio delivered a total market share gain of 10 bps in the year.

In Canada, full-year volumes slipped by 0.7%, but were up by 0.4% in the last quarter of last year.

  • Mexico - volumes +1.6%, sales +5.7%

The brewer noted that it lost share in Mexico last year driven by regional mix. "Industry growth was weaker in the central region, where we have a high market share, while growth was much stronger in the north, where we have a lower, but growing market share," A-B InBev said. Corona volumes rose by 6.5%, despite supply shortages in H1. Bud Light volumes almost doubled on 2013.

Synergies in Mexico to date total US$730m, with A-B InBev having secured full control of market leader Grupo Modelo last year. The company is targeting $1bn in synergies, "with the vast majority expected to come by the end of 2015".

  • Latin America - North - volumes +4.1%, sales +10.9%

Volumes in Brazil for A-B InBev, which owns market leader AmBev, rose by 3.9% last year, thanks to a "strong summer" and the staging of the FIFA World Cup in the country. AmBev's market share rose to 68.2%, with "premium brands" driving the performance. Budweiser volumes leapt by 40% in Brazil in 2014. "The consumer environment in Brazil continues to be challenging," the brewer said. "Our pack price, returnable package and innovation strategies remain major business priorities.

  • Latin America - South - volumes -0.2%, sales +17.9%

The company suffered in Argentina last year, with volumes falling by 5.9% in Q4. Full-year volumes fell by 1.7% as a weak consumer environment and adverse weather hampered performance. Market share loss was noted, "due to competitive pressure" in the country.

  • Europe - volumes -6.0%, sales +0.1%

Despite a "strong" activation around the World Cup in Belgium, A-B InBev's volumes came in flat in the country last year. Volumes in Germany were down by 3.4%, with the off-trade market share for Beck’s and Franziskaner staying flat, "despite high promotional pressure in the market". In the UK, A-B InBev had a "very strong" year: Volumes increased by 1.5%, despite an estimated decline in industry volumes.

  • Asia Pacific - volumes +1.7%, sales +11.8%

In China, the company saw its volumes increase by 1.6% despite a 4% fall in volumes for the industry as a whole in 2014. A-B InBev's focus brands, BudweiserHarbin and Sedrin (representing 73% of the total portfolio), increased their collective volumes by 7.8%. The company's market share in China hit 15.9% for the year.

South Korean volumes fell by 6.4% for A-B InBev, "mainly due to a weak industry".