Anheuser-Busch InBev said on Friday it was suspending sales of Bud in Russia and forfeiting all financial benefit from a joint venture that operates in the country, following similar action from other major brewers.
The world's largest brewer is partners with Turkey's Anadolu Efes in Russia and Ukraine, but does not have a controlling stake and does not consolidate it in its accounts.
Production License Suspension
'We have requested the controlling shareholder to suspend the license for the production and sale of Bud in Russia. Furthermore, we are forfeiting all financial benefit from the joint venture operations,' AB InBev said in a statement.
AB InBev's actions follow those of other major brewers. Heineken and Carlsberg have stopped sales of their namesake leading brands in Russia and ring-fenced their Russian operations.
Anheuser-Busch InBev's new leadership has set a core profit growth target for the world's largest brewer of 4% to 8% over the medium term.
In the 10-year period 2010-2019, AB InBev's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by an average 7.3%, then fell 2.4% in pandemic-hit 2020.
The AB InBev-Efes joint venture has 11 breweries in Russia, employing 3,500 people and three in Ukraine, employing 1,800.
AB InBev said the employees would continue to be supported and paid.
It added it was working with the Red Cross, local NGOs and other consumer product groups to provide food, blankets, medical supplies and 2 million cans of drinking water to Ukraine and the surrounding refugee relief areas.
News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest Drinks news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.