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ABI Posts Profit Slide As Chinese Regulators Approve SABMiller Deal

July 29, 2016

AB InBev (ABI) reported a U.S. volume decline of 0.3% to 54 million hectoliters for the first half of the year, but the brewing giant achieved a 1.2% organic revenue rise to $6.9 billion and normalized EBITDA of $2.8 billion. Against an estimated 0.2% gain in sales to retailers for the brewing industry market-wide, ABI’s U.S. sales to retailers were down 0.7% in the first half. In line with longer-term trends, ABI’s above-premium portfolio—including Stella Artois, Goose Island and Michelob Ultra—performed well in 2016’s first half, but top brands Bud Light and Budweiser continue to decline by low single digits.

Globally, ABI’s net profit fell exponentially from $1.93 billion in the second quarter a year ago to $152 million as a result of one-off finance costs related to its pending deal for SABMiller. In recent days, ABI raised its offer for its longtime rival to £79 billion ($103b), after a post-Brexit fall in the British pound substantially reduced the value of its original price in dollar terms. As SABMiller shareholders evaluate the upped offer, Chinese regulators today approved the merger of the two brewing behemoths, following approval by the U.S. —Daniel Marsteller

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