BELGIUM: A-B InBev profits up on weak beer markets

By | 4 March 2010

A-B InBev says acquisition "essentially complete"

A-B InBev says acquisition "essentially complete"

Anheuser-Busch InBev has reported a rise in full-year profits, but the brewing giant echoed rivals by warning that beer markets are expected to remain weak in 2010.

Underlying profits (EBITDA) rose by 16.6% to US$13bn for the 12 months to the end of December, compared to equivalent combined earnings of $12bn for the separate InBev and A-B businesses in 2008, said A-B InBev today (4 March).

Price rises masked weak beer volume sales to help the Stella Artois and Budweiser brewer to increase like-for-like net sales by 2.5% in 2009, to $36.75bn.
  
Like-for-like beer volumes fell by 1% for the year, as consumers cut back in the economic downturn, accentuating longer term stagnation in western markets in particular.

A-B InBev beer markets will remain weak in 2010 and the first six months of the year will be the most challenging, mainly due to unemployment in the US and a tax hike on beer in Russia.

"We expect to show solid operating performance in 2010, but we expect quarter-over-quarter results to strongly skew toward the second half of the year," said the group, adding that it also faces tough cost comparisons against the first half of 2008.

At the same time, there will be less opportunity for price rises. Sales per hectolitre are expected to run flat or increase in low single digits over 2010, said the brewer.

But, synergies and cost cutting should result in higher EBITDA for the year, it said.
 
The group said that the InBev acquisition of A-B for $52bn in late 2008 is "essentially complete", following its deal to refinance debt last month.

Separately, the brewer is facing Europe-wide action by a coalition of trade unions, upset at the firm's plan to cut 10% of its workforce in Western Europe.

For the full announcement, click here.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: InBev

View next/previous articles

Currently reading -

BELGIUM: A-B InBev profits up on weak beer markets

There are currently no comments on this article

Be the first to comment on this article

Related articles

Comment - Beer - Frank said it best

Is beer good for you? The health benefits and drawbacks of beer have long been studied and debated. But is beer good for your country? Most definitely, conclude Larry Nelson and Frank Zappa.

RUSSIA: Russian Gov't extends wheat export ban - report

Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, has reportedly extended the country's ban on wheat exports in a move that could put further strain on supplies for drinks firms.

Focus - AmBev makes its play in Venezuela

AmBev is attempting to turn around its troubled Venezuela business and gain greater share of the country's important beer market by signing a merger deal with Cerveceria Regional. Here, just-drinks examines the move.

Read more on this hot issue

Comment - Beer - Global brewers, Reader's Digest-style

Remember Reader’s Digest? At some point in our lives we’ve all encountered it, most likely in lengthy stays in doctor’s waiting rooms, its condensed treatments of some of the world’s greatest literature, combined with excruciating humour, somewhat reliving the tedium. At the height of its powers in the 1960s, Reader’s Digest sold in excess of 20m copies worldwide; it was only last year that it was surpassed as the best-selling magazine in the US.

just-drinks tagline

Not a member? Join here

Decrease font sizeDecrease font sizeDecrease font size Increase font sizeIncrease font sizeIncrease font size Comment on this article Email this to a friend Print this page