• Net profits jump by 45% to US$5.85bn
  • Net sales rise by 7.6% (organic 4.6%) to $39bn
  • Operating profits (EBITDA) up by 10.7% (organic 7.7%) to $15.3bn  
  • Volume sales dip by 0.2%
A-B InBev sees full-year sales increase

A-B InBev sees full-year sales increase

Anheuser-Busch InBev has reported a solid rise in sales and a jump in net profits for its fiscal year, despite selling the same amount of beer as the year before.

The Budweiser brewer's share price jumped by around 3% immediately following its result statement. The numbers were better than expected by many analysts, in particular a doubling of fourth-quarter net profits, to US$1.85bn. Fourth-quarter EBITDA rose by 8.8% on a reported basis, to $4.2bn.

Despite a slight dip in global beer sales by volume over both the full-year and fourth-quarter, price rises and better mix helped A-B InBev to increase net sales in both periods. For the 12 months to the end of December, net sales rose by 7.6% versus 2010, to $39bn. Fourth-quarter net sales increased by 4.2% to $5.86bn, albeit with around six percentage points knocked off the increase due to currency swings.

Full-year net profits rose by 45% to $5.85bn, with EBITDA before exceptional items and currency up by 10.7% to $15.3bn. The brewer hailed another year of progress. "These results were achieved despite weak consumer confidence in several markets and increases in commodity prices," it said.

Consumption was mooted in several of A-B InBev's major beer markets. Group volumes fell by 3% in the US for the year, while Brazil, for once, failed to pick up the slack. The firm said that it lost around 0.6 percentage points of market share in Brazil during the year.

Analysts, though, were broadly pleased with the headline numbers. On the firm's outlook for 2012, Sanford Bernstein analysts said: "The company is encouraged by recent improvements in the US (in-line with our view of a positive start to the year, albeit somewhat flattered by good weather and stock build on Bud Light Platinum) and believes that 7.5% real increase in minimum wage will accelerate beer volumes in Brazil."

For the company announcement, click here.