• Full-year group net profits up by 10.2% to US$7.9bn
  • Sales in FY climb by 3.3% to $43.19bn
  • Operating profits (EBITDA) rises by 8.1% to $17.19bn
  • FY beer volumes slip by 2% to 377.2m hectolitres  
A-B InBev saw FY profits up despite a slide in volumes

A-B InBev saw FY profits up despite a slide in volumes

Anheuser-Busch InBev has reported a rise in full-year sales and profits, but admitted that volumes in 2013 were "below expectations" with its Central and Eastern Europe unit suffering the worst.

The Budweiser brewer's net profits in the 12 months to the end of December rose by 10.2% to US$7.9bn, as group sales were up by 3.3%, the company said today (26 February). Operating profits (EBITDA) in the year rose by 8.1% to $17.19bn.

In fourth-quarter numbers, net profits climbed by 25% to $2.37bn while sales were up by 4.6%. Operating profits (EBITDA) rose by 13.1% to $5.2bn.

Full-year sales growth was driven by A-B InBev's global brands, including Budweiser and Corona, which grew sales by 4.7%. There was also a higher rate of revenue-per-hectolitre, especially in Latin America, which helped drive the bottom line.

However, weak global volumes - worse than last year's flat volumes - were exacerbated by a poor performance in North America, where volumes for the full year fell by 2.6%. The Buweiser and Bud Light portfolios also lost market share in the core US market, down 15 basis points, A-B InBev said.

There were also fourth-quarter share losses in Mexico and Brazil, which may worry A-B InBev ahead of this year's FIFA World Cup.

Looking ahead, the brewer said it expects 2014 to deliver stronger volumes in the US as the economy improves, and for the Mexican beer industry to return to growth. It also said the World Cup will help return the Brazilian beer market to growth. Sales and marketing costs will also be increased, A-B InBev said, up from a 4.5% increase this year to low- to mid-teens percentage growth in FY2014 because of activations such as the World Cup.

As of 1100 CET, A-B InBev's share price was up by 1%.

For an in-depth look at the company's performance by region, click here.

For coverage of A-B InBev's post-results conference call, click here.

For an analysis of the full-year numbers, click here.

To read the official statement, click here.