Anheuser-Busch InBev's Q2 & H1 Performance by Region

On July 30, 2015, Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a slight lift in half-year profits on disappointing sales and volumes. Here, just-drinks takes a look at the brewer's performance in its global markets:

US - half-year sales -2.3%, volumes -3.5%:

The brewer's sales-to-retailers fell by 1.9% in the half-year, while sales-to-wholesalers were down by 3.5%.

Bud Light sales dipped by low single-digits, with the brand's market share staying flat. Budweiser, meanwhile, "delivered one of its best volume and market share results in recent years", A-B InBev said. In the quarter, however, the brand's sales-to-retailers were down by low single-digits.

Michelob Ultra, Stella Artois and Goose Island were flagged as performing well, although the company's Rita portfolio has ahd to deal with strong competitive pressure.
Mexico - half-year sales +8.0%, volumes +3.2%

The company boasted a strong performance in Mexico, with Bud Light and Victoria both posting "particularly strong" volumes. Revenue management initiatives and positive brand mix from Bud Light drove sales growth.

While cost synergies of US$30m were realised during Q2, the company said that synergies will be weighted in the latter six months of the year. "We remain committed to delivering our target of $1bn of savings by the end of 2016, with the vast majority expected to come by the end of 2015."

Brazil - half-year sales +16.5%, volumes +3.9%:

A-B InBev's AmBev division struggled with tough comparatives a year earlier (when Brazil hosted the FIFA World Cup ) and an "unfavourable macroeconomic environment" in the country. The premium and 'near-beer' brands did well in the half-year, however, led by Budweiser and Skol Beats Senses.

Revenues-per-hectolitre grew strongly in Q2, by 15%, as promotional activity a year earlier saw revenue-per-hectolitre rise by just 3.8% in Q2 2014.

In soft drinks, market share hit "an all-time high" of 19.6% in the quarter:

"The macroeconomic environment is challenging and in this context, our commercial focus is to maintain a healthy balance between volume and revenue-per-hectolitre."
China - half-year sales +11.8%, volumes +9%

In volume terms, the overall beer market in China was down by 4.5% in the half-year. However, A-B InBev posted healthy growth, both in volumes and in sales value. The brewer holds around 18% market share in the country.

Sales of the firm's three 'focus' brands - Budweiser, Harbin and Sedrin - increased by 3.5% in Q2, with Budweiser posting double-digit growth.

Rest of the World:

Good weather helped drive a double-digit volume increase in Argentina in the second quarter. Quilmes MixxTail Mojito, a "near-beer innovation", performed ahead of expectations in the period.

Beer volumes in Belgium dipped by mid single-digits in the quarter, while Canada's numbers were described as being "very strong". Germany - whose national team won the FIFA World Cup last year - struggled against tough year-prior comparatives, with volumes slipping in Q2 by mid single digits.

Quarterly volumes in South Korea decreased by high single digits, with A-B InBev highlighting a "very competitive environment". Finally, in the UK, sales were down by low single digits in the second quarter, again due to high comparatives.

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