Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, reported greater than expected second-quarter earnings, as its Latin American consumers drank more and it pushed through higher prices globally.
The brewer of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois said core profit rose 7.2% on a like-for-like basis.
That compared with a 5.6% gain expected on average in a company-compiled poll.
“Our business delivered sustained profitable growth," commented Michel Doukeris, chief executive. "Our volume increased by 3.4%, our top-line by 11.3% and EBITDA by 7.2%. The relentless execution of our strategy, the strength of our brands and accelerated digital transformation enabled us to meet the moment in an ongoing dynamic operating environment.”
The Belgium-based brewer repeated its forecast that core profit would rise by between 4% and 8% this year, with revenue rising at a steeper pace than profit. AB InBev is facing higher costs for commodities and for beer deliveries.
In the first six months of 2022, that figure increased by 7.5%. Its outlook is based on a steady easing of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a return of consumers to bars and other venues.
The boost was most pronounced for Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and its other Latin America markets, with consumption of beer and other drinks up by more than 8% and double-digit percentage increases of profits.
By contrast, volumes in North America and Europe were slightly lower, although many consumers switched to higher priced 'premium' beers. Profits in Europe were still higher than a year earlier.
AB InBev's Asia-Pacific operations also suffered lower volumes, principally due to COVID-19 restrictions in China, albeit with a recovery in June as those restrictions eased.
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