AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, recorded its best volume performance in more than five years in the second quarter.
The maker of Beck’s and Budweiser posted volume growth of 2.1% in the three months to the end of June, with “especially strong results” in markets such as Brazil, Australia, Mexico and Colombia.
Revenue for the quarter was up 6.2% on an organic basis to $13.96 billion as normalised EBITDA increased 9.4% on an organic basis to $5.86 billion.
In the US, the company posted revenue growth of 1.8%, which was in part driven by the premiumisation of its portfolio. The firm said that the mainstream segment in the US remains “under pressure” as consumers trade up to higher price tiers.
The brewer hailed a “very strong” performance in Mexico, with both revenue and volume growing by double digits. Modelo Especial, Stella Artois and Michelob Ultra all grew by more than 20% in the quarter.
AB InBev’s Chinese business increased revenue by 7.1% as its “super-premium” brands Corona and Hoegaarden posted double-digit growth.
The company announced that as of 30 June its net debt stood at $104.2 billion. Earlier this month, the firm ditched an IPO of its Asia Pacific business, just one week after the listing was announced.
AB InBev has since said it continues to believe in the strategic rationale of a potential offering of a minority stake of Budweiser APAC, excluding Australia, “provided that it can be completed at the right valuation”.
Last week, the brewer said it had secured a deal to offload its Australian subsidiary, Carlton & United Breweries, to Asahi for $11.3 billion.
In a statement, AB InBev said: “Premiumisation remains a significant opportunity and a critical component of our strategy to deliver sustainable top- and bottom-line growth. We continue to lead the way globally with our unparalleled portfolio of premium brands, as we believe premiumisation requires a portfolio approach to meet consumer needs.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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