AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito has said that the business is off to a “very strong start in 2021”, after first-quarter revenue grew by 17.2% on an organic basis.
AB InBev announced that Brito will be stepping down as CEO after 15 years at the helm, as it reported 13.3% growth in its total volumes in Q1, and revenue per hl growth of 3.7%.
In AB InBev’s full-year 2020 results, revenue declined by 3.7% on an organic basis, but the company said that it “finished the year with momentum in our key markets”, after seeing revenue growth of 4.5% in Q4.
In Q1 2021, the world’s largest brewer recorded revenues of $12.29 billion compared with the year-ago quarter’s $11 billion. Meanwhile, EBITDA increased by 14.2% to $4.27 billion.
The combined first-quarter revenues of AB InBev’s three global brands – Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona – increased by 46.4% outside of their respective home markets, where they typically command a price premium. Overall, the brewer’s premium portfolio grew by 28% in Q1.
In spite of ongoing coronavirus-related impacts, the company delivered own beer volume growth of 2.8% compared with the pre-pandemic levels of Q1 2019.
The company said that its ‘beyond beer’ business – which generated over $1 billion in revenue in 2020 – grew by more than 40% in Q1.
Meanwhile, AB InBev’s owned e-commerce business quadrupled in size in the quarter, and the company says that its courier platforms are now available in nine markets and 220 cities.
In Q1, the brewer’s US business delivered revenue growth of 5.4%, with sales to wholesalers up by 2.9% but sales to retailers down by 0.8%, after last year’s results were boosted by March stockpiling.
In China, revenue grew by more than 90% – surpassing 2019 levels – with strong volume growth of nearly 85%.
In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, AB InBev’s total volumes fell by 2.1%, with a low-single-digit decline in Europe driven by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, while a government-mandated one-month ban on alcohol sales significantly impacted the company’s South Africa business.
In South America, AB InBev saw 12.1% total volume growth, with the company’s Middle Americas business not far behind at 10.4% volume growth.
In Colombia, volumes grew in the low twenties year-over-year, and the company saw Q1 revenue growth of 24.0% in Brazil, with beer volumes up by 15.8% versus the year-ago period. In Mexico, volume grew by mid-single digits.
“Our business is off to a very strong start in 2021. We delivered top-line ahead of pre-pandemic levels, as beer volumes were up by 2.8% versus 1Q19 with healthy revenue per hl growth,” said AB InBev CEO, Brito.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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