BELGIUM: A-B InBev profits up, beats expectations in Q1
Anheuser-Busch InBev has reported an increase in profits and a 4.7% rise in like-for-like sales for the first quarter of 2009.
Operating profits beat analysts' forecasts to reach US$2.79bn for the three months to the end of March, A-B InBev said today (7 May). The rise compares to an estimated $2.5bn in the same period of last year, based on a combination of Anheuser-Busch and InBev earnings, the group said.
Net profits for the three months to the end of March reached US$783m, compared to $398m for InBev in the same period of 2008.
Like-for-like sales rose by 4.7% to $8.2bn for the quarter, although fell on a reported basis, from $8.85bn for InBev and A-B combined in the same quarter of 2008, said the firm, which also announced today that it has sold its South Korean Oriental Brewery to private equity group KKR for US$1.8bn.
Analysts reacted positively to A-B InBev's results. Sanford Bernstein analyst Trevor Stirling said that the brewer "beat even our positive expectations" in both sales and profits.
A-B InBev CFO Felipe Dutra said: "The first quarter of 2009 was a promising start to the year: consolidated volumes grew 0.9%, our Focus Brands delivered 3.5% volume growth, and we gained market share in seven key markets."
Group organic volumes rose by 0.9% for the quarter, driven by a 7.6% rise in Latin America. Volume sales also crept up by 0.1% in North America, although slipped by 8.3% and 5.1% in Western and Eastern Europe respectively.
Synergies from InBev's $52bn takeover of Anheuser late last year have continued apace in the first quarter.
A-B InBev CEO Carlos Brito said: "We are moving quickly to capture our synergy goals and achieved US$295m of synergies in Q1."
The brewer expects total synergies from the deal to reach $2.25bn and said today that $1bn of this will be delivered by savings in the A-B US division in 2009.
Capital expenditure will be reduced by at least $1bn in 2009, compared to combined spend for InBev and A-B in 2008, the group said.
In its outlook for the year, the firm said that it does not expect operating profits growth in the first quarter to be "an indicator of our results for the remainder of 2009".
It added: "The overall environment remains challenging, we project full-year cost of sales per hectolitre to remain up in the low single-digits, and comparisons become increasingly difficult.
"That said, we expect to deliver on our synergy and cash flow generation goals, while at the same time driving Focus Brand growth through sales and marketing programmes that combine discipline and efficiency with innovation."
Those who doubted that Anheuser-Busch InBev would meet its US$7bn disposals target clearly underestimated the beast they were dealing with....
Coca-Cola Amatil has agreed new employment terms with its group managing director....
Here you can find the top ten stories published on just-drinks this week....
Anheuser-Busch InBev has rejected accusations of gender bias in its executive pay scale, following a lawsuit filed by Anheuser-Busch's ex-communications chief....
The top ten stories published on just-drinks this week:...
A joint procurement deal between PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch this week has seen the two drinks giants form a global alliance to purchase indirect goods and services in the US, from technology hardware ...
PepsiCo has apologised after it was accused of stereotyping women with an iPhone application for its Amp Energy drink in the US, offering advice on how to pick up women....
Anheuser-Busch has announced a sponsorship deal with NBC Universal for its Bud Light Golden Wheat beer brand in the US....
- Ten questions for Diageo - Analysis
- Have spirits companies forgotten the mainstream?
- Does alcohol accelerate the onset of dementia?
- How craft beer has shattered its US shackles
- Why Scotch must drop the 'malts good, blends bad'
- Moet Hennessy unaffected by LVMH Dior buy
- Distell acquires majority stake in Cruz Vodka
- BrewDog moves into spirits with LoneWolf launch
- Diageo to cut 105 jobs in Scotland, 50 in Italy
- Portman Group heads to Tesco for new chief exec
- Global Scotch insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Champagne and sparkling wine insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Battle of the Generations - The fight for iGen, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers
- Craft Beer: Coming of Age or Past Its Prime?
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report