just On Call - US beer looks better for 2015 - Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO
Anheuser-Busch InBev's CEO has said he is confident the US beer market will continue to improve this year.
Speaking to analysts today after the release of A-B InBev's full-year results, Carlos Brito said lower oil prices, falling unemployment and an improving economy are combining to suggest a positive outlook for the beer category in the country. “If you put this all together, then that's what gives us confidence that the market is getting better,” Brito added.
The CEO also pointed to sequential monthly improvements that “show a very clear trend”. According to Brito, the US beer market contracted by 1.8% in 2013 but by only 0.6% last year.
Meanwhile, Brito said that Mixxtail, a “cocktail-inspired Bud Light variant” launched in the US this month, has the potential to emulate the success of the Lime-a-Rita range and attract new consumers to the company. “Rita opened up a whole new world for us,” Brito admitted. “We used to be very focused on beer.”
The CEO said Mixxtail will be produced at two of A-B InBev's US breweries, moving to others if the rollout is successful.
In today's full-year results, A-B InBev increased net profits in the 12 months to the end of December by almost 12%, as sales rose by 9%. Volumes in the year were flat, inching up by 0.6%.
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