AB InBev First-Quarter Sales Miss Estimates
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the world’s largest brewer, reported sales and profit growth that missed analysts’ estimates on weakness in Brazil, one of its top markets.
First-quarter revenue rose 3.1 per cent (excluding currency shifts and acquisitions), the Leuven, Belgium-based company said in a recent statement. The median estimate of analysts was a 6.1-per-cent advance. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to $3.46 billion on the same basis. Analysts expected $3.74 billion.
‘‘Our Brazil business had its most challenging quarter in many years,” the company said. ‘‘Our beer-volume trends in April are particularly encouraging, trending significantly better compared to the first quarter of this year.”
Stronger sales in Mexico and an improvement in the US failed to offset weakening consumer sentiment in Brazil, where President Dilma Rousseff is facing impeachment and the worst recession in decades. To smooth its $108-billion takeover of rival SABMiller Plc and satisfy competition regulators, AB InBev is selling some beer brands in Europe.
In February, AB InBev forecast organic revenue-per-hectolitre growth ahead of inflation, and flagged a weak first-quarter performance in Brazil. US volumes would improve this year, the company also said.
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