AB InBev posts 13.3% volumes growth in Q1 2021, flags strong FY21

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Outgoing Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito
  • Revenue grew by 17.2% to US$12,293 million
  • Gross profit up 14.8% to US$7,050 million
  • The Group expects FY21 normalised EBITDA to grow between 8-12%

Delta’s majority shareholder, and is the world’s largest beer maker, Anheuser-Busch Inbev (AB InBev) posted a total volumes growth of 13.3% for the first quarter ended 31 March 2020 with own beer up by 14.9% and non-beer up by 4%.

This shows a recovery trajectory after the Group recorded 2020’s full-year sales decline of 3.7%.

In a statement, outgoing Group CEO, Carlos Brito said, “Our business is off to a very strong start in 2021. We delivered top-line ahead of pre-pandemic levels, as beer volumes were up by 2.8% versus 1Q19 with healthy revenue per hl growth.”

Revenue for the period grew by 17.2% to US$12,293 million from US$11,003 million in 1Q20 comprised of 13.3% total volume growth and 3.7% revenue per hl growth, driven by revenue management initiatives and premiumisation. Combined revenues for the Group’s global brands, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, increased by 29.5% and by 46.4% outside their home markets.

Gross profit increased by 14.8% to US$7,050 million compared to US$6,431 million in the prior corresponding quarter.

The healthy revenue growth translated to an EBITDA increase of 14.2% year-over-year, even in the context of ongoing COVID-19 related restrictions.

“Positive brand mix and ongoing cost discipline was somewhat offset by anticipated pressures from transactional FX and commodity headwinds, channel and packaging mix, and an increase in our SG&A as a result of higher variable compensation accruals, which are recorded by quarter at the zone level depending on operational performance,” said Brito.

Underlying profit (normalized profit attributable to equity holders of AB InBev excluding mark-to-market gains and losses linked to the hedging of our share-based payment programs and the impact of hyperinflation) was 1 099 million USD in 1Q21 compared to 1 015 million USD in 1Q20.

Meanwhile, normalised profit attributable to equity holders of AB InBev was US$1 013 million in 1Q21 versus US$845 million in 1Q20.

On the outlook, the Group expects FY21 normalised EBITDA to grow between 8-12% and revenue to grow ahead of EBITDA from a healthy combination of volume and price.

“The outlook for FY21 reflects our current assessment of the scale and magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is subject to change as we continue to monitor ongoing developments,” said Brito.

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