AB InBev cheers a surge in beer sales

THE World Cup in South Africa helped brewing giant AB InBev to record solid second quarter results.

The maker of Stella Artois and Budweiser said UK beer volumes surged by 18.6 per cent between April and June and 11.4 per cent over the first half of the year, as fans stocked up for the World Cup.

Budweiser was the official beer of the football tournament and UK volumes jumped more than 70 per cent against the first six months of 2009.

The strong UK results came in contrast to the group’s performance in other European markets.


AB InBev said own-beer volumes across Western Europe increased by 2.6 per cent in the period amid tougher conditions in Germany and Belgium.

Heavy competition pressure in Germany sent first-half volumes down 9.8 per cent, while the company was also hit with strikes in its home Belgian market.

Overall, the group – which was formed following a multi-billion merger in 2008 between InBev and Anheuser-Busch – saw underlying earnings increase by 5.6 per cent to £2.2bn while organic revenues rose 4.1 per cent to £5.8bn.

The firm said profit rose to $1.15bn (£947m) from $1.07bn a year earlier. Analysts had expected a profit of $1.08bn. Revenue fell 3.4 per cent to $9.17bn after the group sold some operations last year, but organic volume growth was 2.1 per cent in the quarter as the firm produced 90.5m hectoliters (19.13bn pints) of beer.

The company has recently been concentrating on turning round the Bud brand, which has been struggling in the US market where it has traditionally been a powerhouse. But poor US sales have been offset by a surge in Latin America.