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Beer drinkers can look forward to Budweiser

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Durban - Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is planning to launch Budweiser in South Africa before the end of 2017.

The company said during the presentation of its quarter results that the launch of the beer would consolidate its footprint in the country.

“The business is well-positioned to grow our global brands, with Stella Artois and Corona already present in the market and plans to launch Budweiser later in the year,” the group said.

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Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Budweiser/AP Images

It was also satisfied with revenue growth during the quarter even though beer volumes slowed down 1.6 percent.

“Our South African business saw strong revenue growth of mid-single digits, driven by significant pricing in the period prior to change of control. Beer volumes declined by 1.6 percent,” the group said.

Merger

AB InBev merged with SABMiller in October last year in a $100 billion (R1.3 trillion) deal, which was described by analysts as the third largest acquisition in history.

AB InBev said the merged entity would boast annual sales of $55 billion - up from $44 billion before the merger. On Thursday, the company said it wanted to strengthen its presence in the South African market.

The Castle Lite brand grew strongly in the core plus segment, with packaging innovations to improve convenience for in-home consumption.

“Core brands recovered some of the prior year volume losses to cheap wines and spirits through our commercial initiatives,” it said.

The group’s overall revenue grew 3.7 percent to $12.9 billion during the period compared to the corresponding quarter in 2016, driven by revenue-management initiatives, as well as strong premium-brand performance.

“The first quarter of 2017, which was also the second quarter as a combined company, saw organic revenue growth of 3.7 percent, with volumes down marginally.

Read also: AB InBev to tap into African demand

“Global revenue growth was driven by higher volumes in Latin America North, Latin America South and Asia Pacific, and further supported by revenue-management and premiumisation initiatives throughout our markets,” the group added.

But it reported that total volumes declined by 0.5 percent, while own beer volumes were down by 0.2 percent.

“Good growth in own beer volumes was achieved in China, Brazil and Mexico, while declines were recorded in the US, Colombia and South Africa,” the group said.

Combined revenues of its three global brands, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, grew by 12.1 percent in the period.

AB InBev shares rose 6.78 percent on the JSE  to close at R1610.06.

BUSINESS REPORT

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