US: Volumes fall in Europe but Anheuser-Busch InBev sees growth continue in 2012
- Net profits for 2012 rise by 12.9% to US$7.28bn
- Sales in full-year climb by 7.2% to $39.76bn
- Operating profits (normalised EBITDA) increase by 7.7%, hitting $15.51bn
- Volumes flatten in 2012, inching up by 0.3% to 402.6m hectolitres
Anheuser-Busch InBev saw European volumes drop but sales and profits in 2012 remained strong
The ongoing struggles in Central, Eastern and Western Europe have failed to hinder Anheuser-Busch Inbev in its full-year, with sales and profits both rising in 2012.
The brewer said earlier today (27 February) that net profits last year were up by 12.9%, coming in at US$7.28bn, as sales increased by 7.2% to $39.76bn. Operating profits also rose, by 7.7% in organic terms to $15.51bn.
While full-year total volumes came in flat, rising by 0.3% in the year, Central & Eastern Europe saw volumes tumble by 11.3%. Western Europe was also down, by 4.2%, with Latin America North (+3%) and Asia Pacific (+1.9%) redressing the balance. North America was flat, up by 0.6%.
For the last three months of 2012, however, net profits took a hit, falling by 8.5% to $1.79bn. Sales in Q4 rose by 8.8% to $10.29bn with operating profits climbing in organic terms by 9.9% to $4.39bn.
The brewer highlighted a $200m one-off profit gain in the corresponding period a year earlier.
Asia Pacific was the most notable troublespot in the quarter, with volumes tumbling by 8%. The company blamed "severe cold and wet weather" in China, but maintained that it had grown market share in the country in both the quarter and the full-year (volumes up by 1.9%). Group volumes in the three-month period were flat, slipping 0.1%.
"While we expect 2013 to be another year of challenge and uncertainty in the global economic environment, we will continue to work for the long-term growth of our business," the company said. "We will follow our proven business model: investing in the top-line, maintaining strict cost discipline and pursuing margin enhancement.
"We will focus on building a vibrant beer industry, expanding our position in the most important markets, strengthening our brands and consumer connections, and generating superior cash flow to be reinvested in growth."
A-B InBev used the statement to review its ongoing efforts to buy the remainder of Grupo Modelo. A judge in the US agreed yesterday to delay proceedings in the anti-trust lawsuit that the Department of Justice had issued to A-B InBev over the move.
A-B InBev's share price was trading normally this morning, down by 0.6% at 1013 CET.
For an in-depth look at the company's brand and regional performance in the year and quarter, click here.
To read the company's official statement, click here.
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