US: Volumes fall in Europe but Anheuser-Busch InBev sees growth continue in 2012

By | 27 February 2013

  • 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

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.

Expert analysis

Anheuser-Busch InBev NVSA (ABI) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV/SA (AB InBev) is producer and distributor of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. The company, along with its subsidiaries, engages in the business of brewing and sale of beer and few non-alcoholic beverages, across the world. AB InBev is also involved in the export of beer and operation of one Theme Park in the US. The company manages a portfolio of nearly 200 beverage brands. It has operations in over 23 countries, across the US, Europe and Asia Pacific, and sells its products in over 130 countries. AB InBev's key brands include Budweiser, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Skol, Bud Light and Staropramen. The company is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. The strategic intent of the company is to form new alliances, enter new markets and improve its revenue. In the line with this strategy, recently, the company announced that it will acquire the remaining stake in Grupo Modelo, the Mexican brewing company.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Company results, Emerging markets – BRIC

Companies: InBev, Modelo

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