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US: Sales, profits stay strong for Anheuser-Busch InBev Q1, despite European woes

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  • Q1 EBIT increases by 8.4% to US$2.89bn
  • Sales also rise in three months to end of March, by 6.2% to $9.33bn
  • EBITDA up by 7.4% to $3.55bn
  • Volumes inch up by 1.8%, but Europe drags on numbers

A tough quarter for Anheuser-Busch InBev's European markets has failed to buck the brewer's sales and profits trend, with total volumes gaining only slightly.

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The company said earlier today (30 April) that, in the three months to the end of March, earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) were up by 8.4% year-on-year, coming in at US$2.89bn. Sales in the period rose by 6.2% to $9.33bn as EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization increased by 7.4% to $3.55bn.

On the volumes front, Latin America - North performed well, delivering a 4.8% lift, while Latin America - South and Asia Pacific both grew volumes by 3.2%. In North America, volumes were up by 1.2% to 29.8m hectolitres. However, in Western Europe, volumes fell by 5.1% to 6.2m hectolitres, while Central & Eastern Europe struggled, with volumes dropping by 9.7% to 4.3m hectolitres.

The UK was the guiltiest party in Western Europe, with volumes hit by higher unemployment levels than last year and an increase in VAT, coupled with competitive activity in the off-trade. In Central & Eastern Europe, Russia was hit by a price increase following an excise tax adjustment, with Ukraine suffering from very cold temperatures.

Looking forward, A-B InBev said it expects shipments to retailers in the US in the second quarter to be "softer", due to adjustments in shipping patterns. In the longer term, however, Brazil should grow volumes in the full-year as a result in the increase in the minimum wage.

To read the company's official results announcement, click here.


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