Several major FMCG companies have been labelled as “slow payers” as they take months to pay back businesses, new research has revealed.

Drinks giants, including Bud Light maker Anheuser-Busch InBev and Coca-Cola bottling company Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, are taking over 100 days to pay their invoices to suppliers, according to UK-based think tank Good Business Pays.

The latest report shows a 20% increase in companies reporting average payment times of over 80 days, with the largest surge in companies reporting payments being made between 80-90 days.

AB InBev, for example, has taken 116 days on average to reimburse its suppliers, proving to be one of the slower payers of hundreds of companies listed. Some 78% of invoices were paid in 61 days or more.

The brewer added its maximum contractual payment period agreed is 245 days but that is with a “single, large supplier, with whom we have a longstanding relationship negotiated at a global level who provides us with specialised industrial equipment”.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners took an average of 110 days to pay back, with 90% of payments taking 61 days or longer.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

On the group’s original payment practice report, it wrote: “Our goal is to ensure we pay every invoice within the agreed time period. There are a number of reasons why invoices may not be paid on agreed terms, including administrative and processing errors, mistakes on invoices and, in some cases, a dispute over the invoice.

“We recognise the importance of paying our suppliers on time and continue to work hard to reduce the percentage of our invoices paid late.”

A CCEP spokesperson said that relationships with suppliers are “critically important”.

“The majority of our suppliers are large companies conducting business with us on contracted terms which have been negotiated on an individual basis with our procurement team. Agreeing mutually beneficial terms in this way allows us to build long-term strategic partnerships with our suppliers, where both sides are collaborating for growth,” the spokesperson added.

“We keep our terms under constant review. Our smallest suppliers have always been on shorter payment terms, which in the past meant they were typically paid within 40 days. However, from the end of last year, we have been switching our SME suppliers in Great Britain to 30-day payment terms.”

Just Drinks has contacted AB InBev for comment.

Terry Corby, CEO of Good Business Pays, said: “It’s encouraging that 19 companies whose names were published in the autumn watchlist have since dramatically improved their payment performance and only six months later now no longer appear on this list.

“2023 reported the highest annual registered company insolvencies since 1931, and larger companies must support SMEs, who are the backbone of our economy, and this starts with suitable payment performance.”

The UK think tank said that, since the last Good Business Pays Watchlist was published in August 2023, 19 companies have reported “big improvements” in payment performance and no longer appear on the watchlist.