Budweiser was the sole alcohol sponsor of the World Cup

Budweiser was the sole alcohol sponsor of the World Cup

Today, Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a rise in first-half group sales and net profits. Here just-drinks takes a look at the brewer's performance in its global markets: 

United States

Sales to wholesalers were down 3.4% in Q2 and down 0.8% in H1. A-B InBev said this was expected because of an inventory build-up in advance of labour negotiations. The inventory adjustment “will continue into the third quarter”, the brewer said.

Total estimated market share was down about 65bps in Q2, driven mainly by the Budweiser family, and down about 55bps in H1. Market share for the Bud Light family was down an estimated 30bps. Share of the Ritas family was flat in the quarter. The company said it is to launch a new Rita flavour, Apple Ahhh, in the third quarter. The total estimated market share of the Budweiser family was down about 50bps in the quarter. Michelob Ultra gained an estimated 15bps of market share.

US beer only sales per hectolitre grew by 1.5% in Q2 and by 1.7% in H1. A-B InBev said it expects a similar result in Q3. US EBITDA was flat in the quarter and grew by 0.7% in the half years. 

Mexico

Own volumes increased by 1.5% in Q2, with Focus Brands growing by 5.5%, driven by a later Easter and the World Cup activation, that saw Budweiser as the tournament's sole alcohol sponsor. A-B InBev said glass shortages for the Corona Extra brand “are being addressed and the supply situation is improving”. The industry grew by an estimated low-single digits during the quarter.

Corona brand family grew volumes increased by 9% in Q2 because of the World Cup. Stella Artois “continues to perform well” after the brand’s launch in Q1, the brewer said. Beer revenue per hectolitre climbed by 2.1% in Q2 on a price increase in line with inflation that came into effect on 1 May. Mexico EBITDA increased by 34.4% in Q2 driven by revenue growth and cost savings, while it jumped by 31.3% in H1.

Brazil

Volumes increased by 7.6% in the quarter, with beer volumes up 7.2% and soft drinks up 8.8%. Beer industry volumes grew by an estimated 6.8% in Q2, and by 9.5% in H1. A-B InBev estimates that the FIFA World Cup will contribute about 1.4m hectolitres of incremental beer volumes to its business, with 80% coming in the second quarter and the remainder expected to fall in Q3.

The company's Q2 beer market share increased by an estimated 90bps, while year-over-year market share for the quarter was up 30bps to 68.4%. H1 market share was up an estimated 20bps sequentially, while year-over-year market share for H1 was down 20bps to 67.9%. A-B InBev's Brazil beer revenue per hectolitre increased by 3.8% in the quarter, and by 6.6% in H1.

Brazil soft drinks gained 120bps of market share to reach a record high of 19.3% in the quarter, according to A-B InBev's estimates. Performance was driven by “solid results” from both the Pepsi brand portfolio and A-B InBev's own brands, including Guaraná Antarctica.

Brazil EBITDA grew by 8.1% in Q2 and by 12% in H1.

Rest of the World

In China, A-B InBev's beer volumes grew by 4.6% in Q2 and by 6.5% in H1. Argentina saw volumes fall 8.9% in Q2 because of a “challenging” economic environment, though July volumes are “much improved”, A-B InBev said. Belgium own beer volumes were up 9.3% in Q2 and 3.7% in H1 because of the World Cup. Russia saw volumes in Q2 and H1 slump 10% as A-B InBev lost market share in the country. South Korea beer volumes were up 10% in Q2 because of the World Cup, while the UK saw volumes jump 13.5% in Q2 and 8.1% in H1, also because of the World Cup, A-B InBev said.