Anheuser-Busch InBev has reported a 27.6% increase in revenue in the second quarter of its financial year, restoring sales to to pre-pandemic levels and beating market expectations for profit as drinkers took advantage of eased restrictions in its major markets.
A year on from its worst quarter of the COVID-19 crisis, the Belgium-based brewer benefited from increased beer consumption across the Americas, in Europe and South Africa, including a leap of more than 50% in Colombia.
The group, which recently announced the appointment of a new chief executive, said that total volumes were up 20.8% in the quarter, it said, or by 17.0% in the first half.
Only in China, which moved out of its coronavirus lockdown earlier in 2020, were beer volumes lower.
EBITDA Forecast For The Year
The brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, retained its forecast that core profit would grow by between 8% and 12% this year, with revenue increasing by a faster pace with healthy volumes and prices.
In the second quarter, EBITDA rose 31% on a like-for-like basis to $4.85 billion (€4.08 billion), against consensus expectations for a 19% increase.
“The consistent execution of our commercial strategy – centred around winning brands, category development and digital transformation – delivered continued momentum in the second quarter with top-line growth 3.2% ahead of Q219 pre-pandemic levels, even in light of ongoing COVID-19 impacts," commented Michel Doukeris, AB InBev chief executive.
"Looking forward, we will continue to build upon our customer- and consumer-first approach to drive growth and value creation.”
The group said that it delivered topline growth of 3.2% in the period, compared to the second quarter of 2019, even 'in the context of ongoing impacts related to COVID-19', and that it remains focused on category development, premiumisation, health and wellness, its 'beyond beer' strategy, and digital transformation initiatives.
Last summer, AB InBev announced the sale of its Australian subsidiary to Asahi, as part of a streamlining initiative.