ABInbev: "Strong third quarter" for UK but 2019 global profit forecast is lowered

ABInbev has reported its UK business has had a “strong third quarter”, driven by the continued popularity of Corona and Budweiser, however its overall global business delivered weaker than expected sales over the period. As a result the company lowered its profit growth forecasts for the year, sending shares tumbling 10%.

In Europe volumes grew by low single digits on top of “a difficult comparable as we cycled the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia”, and it estimated it gained market share in the majority of its European markets. It continues to invest in new brand launches, premiumisation and sustainability.

Paula Lindenberg, president, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, said: “Our UK business has had a strong third quarter, building on a solid performance year to date. We continued to deliver volume-led revenue growth, fueled by our global brands and Corona and Budweiser both growing by double digits.

“Corona has had a great summer, recently launching in draught format. This followed a successful trial across a number of venues, where it was one of the top-three selling draught beers, with its distinctive lime ritual adding a premium feel and refreshment to the serve. Budweiser has been boosted by its sponsorship of the Premier League, which involved an unmissable launch campaign across TV, out of home and social, as well as nationwide consumer competitions and further partnerships with Sky Sports and MatchPint. Stella Artois, meanwhile, is continuing to grow both volume and value in the on-trade ahead of the industry average year-to-date.

“More widely for our UK business, we are proud that we have been able to invest £6.3m in green technology in our breweries, allowing us to remove 850 tonnes of plastic from the market each year and eliminate plastic rings across our entire portfolio of canned beers by the end of 2020. As we move towards brewing our biggest beer brands with 100% locally-sourced barley and 100% renewable electricity from solar power, consumers will soon be able to choose a more sustainable beer when they shop or visit their local pub.”

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