The brewer has a high exposure in Brazil

The brewer has a high exposure in Brazil

Consumer weakness in Brazil and a depreciating Real will slow Anheuser-Busch InBev's growth this year, an analyst has warned.

In a note to clients earlier today (1 July), CLSA's Caroline Levy also said she is “sceptical” of reports the brewer is looking to acquire rival SABMiller.

“We expect ongoing consumer weakness in Brazil and a rising dollar to crimp 2013 growth with some spillover likely in 2014,” Levy said.

However, Levy added that the acquisition of Grupo Modelo last month and a turnaround in US sales makes A-B InBev a “strong long-term franchise”. 

Levy said the brewer's sales in US retail channels have been negative for most of the first half of the year, but turned positive for the 12 weeks to 16 June.

“On a two-year average basis, A-B InBev's sales growth has been on a positive uptrend since March,” the analyst said.

Levy dismissed “recent commentary” on a long-rumoured mega-merger between SABMiller and A-B InBev as “just speculation”.