AB InBev Looking Forward To World Cup Boost

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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AB InBev Looking Forward To World Cup Boost

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, has forecast faster growth in the rest of the year, helped by the soccer World Cup, which takes place in Russia this summer.

Chief Financial Officer Felipe Dutra said AB InBev was confident of a return to volume growth in Brazil, its second-biggest market, in the second quarter with more drinking driven by its sponsorship of the World Cup in June and July.

Dutra said the event could increase annual volumes in Brazil and Argentina by 0.5 to 1 percentage point as matches boosted beer drinking in normally fallow winter weekdays.

Marketing Spend

AB InBev had warned first-quarter growth would be limited due to higher sales and marketing spending in advance of the World Cup and because the start of 2017 was comparatively strong.

In Brazil, the brewer said an earlier Carnival brought to an end sooner the traditional summer drinking season, with cold and wet weather a further drag.


However, the company got consumers to pay more for their beer and, together with tight cost control and a stronger Brazilian real, earnings and margins there improved.

Ambev Performance

Elsewhere, Ambev SA, the Latin American unit of beverage company Anheuser Busch InBev NV, missed quarterly profit estimates on Wednesday due to the timing of Carnaval and rising competition in Brazil from Heineken NV.

Soft drink volumes in Brazil fell 19.4 percent from a year earlier, while beer volumes fell 8.1 percent, hurt by the timing of and weather around the Carnaval holiday, according to Ambev.

"The beer sector as a whole contracted during the quarter, with Carnaval falling near the beginning of February and a cooler climate," said Chief Financial Officer Ricardo Rittes in written remarks in the earnings release.


News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.


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