InBev profits below market estimates
ANHEUSER-BUSCH InBev, the world’s largest brewer, said profits were below market estimates as falling US sales of Budweiser and higher distribution and commodity costs squeezed margins in the US. The brewer, which also makes Stella Artois and Beck’s, yesterday said beer sales to US retailers in the third quarter fell 0.9 per cent in the quarter, led by a 7 per cent decline for Budweiser.
In North America, where it generates about 42 per cent of its revenue, core profit was $1.821 billion.
The company said selling and marketing expenses were up 12.8 per cent in North America, recovering from a devastating drought in its major wheat-growing states.
Although AB InBev has seen its higher-priced brands grab market share, sharply increased marketing and distribution costs have depressed US margins by more than two percentage points.
Group core profit in the third quarter rose 10.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis to $3.977 billion.
In Western Europe, profits increased 9.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis even as volumes declined, and the group gained market share in Germany with its Hasseroeder and Beck’s brands. – (Reuters)