AB InBev shares are down after Budweiser lost more market share in the US

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Budweiser's decline has weighed on volumes (Source: Getty)

The world's biggest brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) struggled to slow the decline of Budweiser sales in the third quarter, it revealed this morning.

The decline of the flagship beer was one contributor to a decline in volumes for the drinks giant. Shares in the company were trading down 1.4 per cent today.

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The figures

AB InBev's overall revenue grew 3.6 per cent in the third quarter to $14.7bn (£11.1bn), but Budweiser global revenue was down 2.2 per cent.

Total volumes fell 1.2 per cent to 161m hectolitres, driven by a 1.5 per cent fall in own beer volumes.

But underlying earnings were up 13.8 per cent to $5.7bn.

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Why it's interesting

As more consumers turn to premium beer options, AB InBev admitted that Budweiser and Bud Light were performing below the market in the US, with both losing market share.

Meanwhile higher-end drinks such as Stella Artois grew in the market and the company's craft portfolio performed well.

But the UK was a bright spot in the company's European markets, delivering double-digit top-line growth.

Analysts at Liberum noted that the decline in volumes had been more severe than the market expected, but that they expected the group's ongoing merger with SAB Miller to help deliver cash to shareholders.

"Management’s track record for efficiency and delivering synergies could result in quicker and higher savings from the SAB acquisition than our forecasts," they said.

Read more: AB InBev toasts premium drinks market as revenue and profits climb

What AB InBev said

The firm's management released a comment as part of the results statement saying:

As we enter the final months of the year, we will continue to push ourselves toward a strong finish. We have plenty of opportunities ahead of us, and look forward with excitement to further building on our dream of bringing people together for a better world.

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