AB InBev looks to premium market for growth as Budweiser falters in the US

Alys Key
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Budweiser Temporarily Renames Flagship Beer 'America'
American sales of Budweiser are threatened by the growing premium trend (Source: Getty)

Beer giant AB InBev posted profit and revenue growth in the first half as it focused on the top end of the market.

Read more: Brits are pouring £100 a month on booze as the craft trend takes hold

The figures

The owner of Corona, Budweiser, and London craft brewer Camden Town Brewery reported that underlying profits have grown to $5.3bn (£4bn) in the period, up by 11.8 per cent.

Revenue was $157.7bn, while cost savings from the company's takeover of SABMiller were $335m for the period. The group maintained a target of $2.8bn for total synergies.

Read more: After the takeover: How Camden Town's keeping its craft credentials intact

Why it's interesting

The company said in a statement it was focusing on "premiumisation", believing the top end of the market to be the fastest-growing.

This is in line with consumer trends across the industry, as rival Diageo today said it saw sales of top-end whisky and tequila drive growth.

But in the US this trend means the group's core products Budweiser and Bud Light have lost market share, even as other AB InBev brands benefit.

Read more: Budweiser wants to take booze out of this world with anti-gravity beer

What the company said

"2017 has been off to a good start and we will continue to push ourselves to deliver good results throughout the balance of the year," said AB InBev's management team in a statement.

"While the second half of the year looks promising, our focus remains on growing the global beer category as well as generating top-line growth in a sustainable way to position ourselves for long term success."

Read more: Heineken launches alcohol-free lager

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