Anheuser-Busch’s growth hit by fall-off in European sales

The maker of Beck’s and Corona beer says beer volume fell 2.7 per cent in the period

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the maker of Beck's and Corona beer, reported third-quarter profit growth that fell short of analysts' expectations, weighed down by weakness in Russia and China.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 1.3 per cent on an organic basis in the three months through September 30th, the world’s biggest brewer said today in a statement.

That's weaker than the second quarter's 9.5 per cent increase and compares with the median estimate of 11 analysts for 7 per cent growth. "We believe the quarter was a one-off in terms of Ebitda performance and is not reflective of expected future trends for the business," AB InBev said in the statement. AB InBev's own beer volume fell 2.7 per cent in the period, with 40 per cent of the decline stemming from Europe as tension in Russia sapped sales.

AB InBev, based in Leuven, Belgium, also had to contend with unfavourable weather in China, it said. Organic revenue in the period rose 2.3 per cent, falling short of the 4.4 percent analysts anticipated.


AB InBev rose 0.2 per cent to €87.16 in Brussels trading yesterday, pushing this year's gain to 13 per cent. Today's report comes amid speculation that the Belgian brewer could seek to buy its main competitor SABMiller, the maker of Grolsch and Peroni. Dutch brewer Heineken said last month it spurned an approach from SABMiller.

Such a deal would have strengthened SABMiller against a potential bid by AB InBev, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.