AB InBev, the world’s largest beer maker, recorded a 5.9% rise in revenue during its first quarter compared to the same period last year, boosted by growth in Brazil and China.
The Beck’s and Leffe owner posted revenue of $12.59 billion in the three months to the end of March. EBITDA was $4.99 billion, up 8.2% on last year.
The company also announced it is exploring a potential minority stake listing of its Asia Pacific (APAC) business on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
In a statement, the firm said: “The merits of this initiative are based upon the creation of an APAC champion in the consumer goods space. Furthermore, our superior portfolio of brands and leadership position in the beer industry provide an attractive platform for potential M&A in the region.”
During the quarter, AB InBev saw the combined revenue of its three global brands – Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona – grow by 8.5% globally, and by 14% outside of their respective home markets.
The firm recorded 16.7% revenue growth in Brazil, with both beer and non-beer businesses delivering “robust results”. The company’s core brands performed well, led by triple-digit growth of Bohemia.
In China, revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% as Budweiser posted mid-single-digit volume growth while beer brands Corona, Franziskaner and Hoegaarden also performed well.
Meanwhile, revenue declined by mid-single digits in South Africa, in part due to lower consumer demand and the later timing of the Easter holiday.
During the quarter, AB InBev announced a partnership with crop improvement company Benson Hill Biosystems to develop more productive and sustainable barley varieties that use less water and other natural resources.
AB InBev said it expects to deliver strong revenue and EBITDA growth during 2019.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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