Budweiser in form ahead of World Cup

Budweiser in form ahead of World Cup

Strong gains for Budweiser in the UK provided the highlight in a tough start to 2010 for Anheuser-Busch InBev in western markets.

Budweiser sales by volume in the country rose by more than 40% in the three months to the end of March, compared with the same period of 2009, A-B InBev said today (5 May).

The rise helped the brewer to increase own-beer volume sales by 1% in the UK, against a beer market down by around 5% for the period.

One source familiar with A-B InBev's Stag brewery in London told just-drinks last month that, despite the facility's planned closure, it has "never been so busy" producing Budweiser.

The brand is the official beer of the FIFA World Cup and A-B InBev has begun a range of promotions in the UK around the tournament.

Budweiser's success in the UK provided a rare high point in a tough quarter for A-B InBev in western markets. Group volumes slipped by 9% in Belgium, 5% in Germany and by 6% in the US.

"We are not satisfied with our overall market share performance," said the group, but added that it expects some increase in demand in these markets in the second half of 2010.

For more on A-B InBev's first quarter results, click here.