(AP Photo/Yves Logghe, file)
(AP Photo/Yves Logghe, file)

AB InBev cheers as shares surge following 6.2% revenue increase

By Sandile Mchunu Time of article published Jul 26, 2019

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Anheuser-Busch InBev's share price surged by more than 6 percent on the JSE after the world's biggest brewer reported a 6.2 percent increase in revenue for the quarter to end June, boosted by its global brands, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona.

AB InBev reported a 5.3 percent growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

The group said revenue increased to $13.9 billion (R193.24bn) for the quarter to end June, up from $13.8bn compared to last year, while net profit increased to $2.8bn, from $2.2bn.

It said global brands increased revenue by 8 percent during the period in most of its key markets, which include Mexico, Brazil, Europe, South Africa, Nigeria, Australia and Colombia.

The brands grew by 11.3 percent outside of their respective home markets.

“In 2Q19, we achieved our best volume performance in more than five years, contributing to a strong top-line and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda),” the group said.

Normalised Ebitda increased to $5.86bn while earnings per share were $1.25 a share.

The share price rose to R1421 a share, up from Wednesday's closing price of R1335.

“We delivered volume growth across most of our major markets, with some of these markets also benefiting from the later timing of the Easter holiday,” the group said.

AB InBev achieved results on the back of a failed initial public offering of a minority stake in its Asia-Pacific subsidiary, Budweiser Brewing Company Apac, on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which would have netted as much as $9.8bn (R137.89bn) for the group, due to factors such as prevailing market conditions.

However, last week the group reached an agreement to sell its Australian subsidiary Carlton & United Breweries to Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings for A$16bn (R155.25bn), a move that would help it to reduce its $104bn debt at the end of June.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2019, the group said it expected to deliver strong revenue andgrowth, driven by the solid performance of its brand portfolio and commercial plans.

“Our growth model is even more focused on category expansion, targeting a more balanced top-line growth between volume and revenue as the first half. We expect to deliver revenue per hl growth ahead of inflation while keeping costs below inflation,” the group said.

AB InBev shares closed 6.07 percent higher at R1 416.07 on the JSE yesterday.


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