AB InBev cuts dividend in half as coronavirus hits beer consumption

The maker of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois withdrew its 2020 outlook guidance three weeks ago

Anheuser-Busch InBev says  its annual shareholder meeting will be pushed back to June 3rd from April 29th, which means  payment of its final dividend will be postponed to June 11th from early May.  Photograph: iStock

Anheuser-Busch InBev says its annual shareholder meeting will be pushed back to June 3rd from April 29th, which means payment of its final dividend will be postponed to June 11th from early May. Photograph: iStock

 

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, proposes to halve its final dividend, and has postponed its annual shareholder meeting owing to uncertainty around Covid-19.

The maker of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois on Tuesday said it was proposing to pay a final 2019 dividend of 50 cent per share, down from the €1 it had initially proposed. It paid an interim dividend of 80 cent in November.

The halved final dividend will save the company about €1 billion, and help to ease the debt burden from its 2016 purchase of SABMiller for about $100 billion (€91.3bn).

At the end of 2019, AB InBev’s net debt stood at $95.5 billion.

The brewer also said its annual shareholder meeting will be pushed back to June 3rd from April 29th, which means that payment of its final dividend will be postponed to June 11th from early May.

The company, the largest markets of which are the US and Brazil, withdrew its 2020 outlook guidance three weeks ago. – Bloomberg