James Wilmore

just On Call - Brazil bump temporary, says Anheuser-Busch InBev chief

By | 30 April 2013

Carlos Brito is still confident of the opportunity in Brazil

Carlos Brito is still confident of the opportunity in Brazil

Anheuser-Busch InBev's boss has defended the group's Q1 performance in Brazil, citing a "rare combination" of factors, and said he remains "optimistic" about the market.

The brewer suffered a 8.2% drop in volumes in the South American country during the first three months of 2013, it reported today (30 April). But, during an analysts' conference call, CEO Carlos Brito urged investors not to read too much into the soft performance in its number two market.

Poor weather and the earlier timing of Carnival were a "rare combination" of factors, Brito said. Brazil has also seen high food inflation, but he flagged that the Government is moving to counteract this. "Prices are begininng to come down, which will help disposable income," Brito said.

The A-B InBev chief said April's performance in the market is "still negative, but is better than March", helped by a "pack-price" strategy. 

Earlier, highlighting factors such as next year's World Cup, Brito said: "We remain optimistic about Brazil."

Meanwhile, in Russia, where volumes fell 17% in the quarter, the CEO said the company is trying to move its portfolio to a better position in the market. But, he admitted: "We haven't found that sweet spot between price, profitability and (market) share yet." 

Turning to the opportunity in Asia, once the Grupo Modelo takeover has completed in June, Brito said that having the Corona brand allowed the group to look at these markets "in a whole different way". 

On the US$20.1bn acquistion of Modelo, Brito said: "We can't wait to get started." 

Expert analysis

Beer in Brazil

Beer in Brazil industry profile provides top-line qualitative and quantitative summary information including: market share, market size (value and volume 2007-11, and forecast to 2016). The profile also contains descriptions of the leading players including key financial metrics and analysis of competitive pressures within the market. Essential resource for top-line data and analysis covering the Brazil beer market. Includes market size and segmentation data, textual and graphical analysis of market growth trends, leading companies and macroeconomic information.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Emerging markets – BRIC

Companies: InBev, Modelo

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