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ABI Volume Slips In U.S., Other Global Markets In First Quarter

April 30, 2013

Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) said volume “came under pressure” in the first quarter of 2013, as its U.S. sales to retailers fell 4.1%, against its estimate of a 3% decline market-wide. ABI blamed increased gas prices and poor weather for the U.S. decline, which saw its Bud Light Platinum upstart—which rocketed to 27.5 million (2.25-gallon) cases in calendar 2012, according to Impact Databank—take a step back owing to a tough comparable against last year. Sister brands Bud Light Straw-ber-Rita and Bud Light Lime-a-Rita enjoyed a strong quarter, however. ABI added that its new Budweiser Black Crown helped offset a share decline for Budweiser, and that its higher-end brands like Stella Artois, Shock Top and Goose Island gained share.

ABI’s global volume—down 4.1% overall to 90 million hectoliters—also suffered from a 6% fall in Brazil, although China, up 15.5%, provided growth, recovering from what ABI said was a weather-related decrease in the fourth quarter of last year. Even as volume flagged, ABI’s global revenue rose 1.5% on an organic basis to $9.2 billion, on strong revenue per hectoliter growth of 5.8%.

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