AB InBev reports sales increase in Q3

29 October, 2020

AB InBev reported a 4% revenue increase in Q3 after enjoying surging sales in Brazil, Mexico and the United States.

Total volumes grew by 1.9% in the quarter, driven by the performances of key brands Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona.

However, the cost of sales shot up by 9.6% as a result of challenging trading conditions, and that caused profits to decline. The firm’s profit for Q3 2020 was $1.58 billion, compared to $2.41 billion in Q3 2019.

AB InBev decided to scrap its interim 2020 dividend due to “uncertainty and volatility arising from the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Total volume sales are down 8.2% year-on-year during the first nine months of 2020, with South America the only region showing growth.

Chief executive Carlos Brito is encouraged by the Q3 results. “Our third quarter results reflect our fundamental strengths as the world’s leading brewer and the resilience of the global beer category,” he said.

“We delivered a strong and balanced top-line performance by quickly adapting to meet the evolving needs of our customers and our consumers. In an ongoing volatile and uncertain environment, we remain focused on being part of the solution by prioritizing the health and well-being of our people, communities and customers.”

The world’s largest brewer achieved 14.7% volume growth in South America during the three months to September 30. It highlighted Brazil as a star performer, with volumes up 25.4%.

Its Middle Americas division reported a 3.3% volume sales decrease, but in Mexico volumes grew by “mid-single digits” and revenue saw a double-digit growth.

Total revenue in the United States increased by 4.5% during the three-month period, enhanced by the strong performance of its hard seltzer brands.

The overall North America division saw a 1.5% sales increase, EMEA declined 6.5%, and Asia Pacific was up 0.5%.

China, Canada, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina were all highlighted as markets that performed well during the quarter.

The UK also saw volume and value growth in Q3. Paul Lindenberg, president of Budweiser Brewing Group UK & Ireland, said: “In the third quarter, our UK business grew in value and volume [Nielsen], supported by the continued strength of our brands in the off-trade channel and the gradual re-opening of the on-trade channel.

“Our iconic brands, including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, performed strongly, showcasing the strength of our brand portfolio. In recent months, our penetration grew 40%, representing almost an additional two million households entering the category and choosing our portfolio of brands to enjoy in new occasions. We are confident this will lead to continued growth.

“Stella Artois and Budweiser remained the number one and two most valuable beer brands in the Off-Trade, while Corona grew at nearly three times the rate of the total category, maintaining its position as the most valuable World Beer brand in the off-trade.

“Our two new alcohol-free launches, Stella Artois Alcohol-Free and Budweiser Zero, have continued their strong momentum, growing by double digits versus the previous period. And as the hospitality sector re-opened, Stella Artois was the best performing brand in the on-trade, in terms of like-for-like sales.”

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