AB InBev Beer Gross sales Revive, However Interim Dividend Scrapped

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BRUSSELS: Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, reported a shock enhance in third-quarter beer gross sales on Thursday, though earnings dipped and it scrapped its interim dividend.

The maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona lagers gave no particular steering for 2020, however mentioned it anticipated the second half of the 12 months to be higher than the primary, albeit with appreciable uncertainty because of the pandemic.

Total beer and gentle drink volumes rose by 1.9% within the June-September quarter after a 17% slide within the second quarter to drive income up 4.0%, towards consensus expectations of a 4% decline.

The clear outperformer was Brazil, the corporate’s second greatest market, the place beer gross sales shot up 25% from a 12 months earlier with authorities subsidies propping up client demand for its premium and new beers.

Volumes and earnings additionally grew in its largest market, the US, as its Michelob Extremely lager and arduous seltzers offset a decline of mainstream manufacturers to extend its share of nationwide beer gross sales.

The Belgium-based firm additionally reported development in Mexico, Europe and China, however suffered declines in Colombia, the place stay-at-home restrictions solely eased in August, and South Africa, the place alcohol gross sales had been banned for a month.

Total earnings dipped as a result of the pandemic made customers shift from ingesting out to buying in shops.

This elevated prices as a result of the corporate wanted to supply and ship extra cans and bottles and fewer of the cheaper kegs that go to bars and eating places.

Nonetheless, earnings earlier than curiosity, tax, depreciation and amortisation solely dipped by 0.8%, a far milder decline than the common forecast of a 9.3% drop in a company-compiled ballot. EBITDA fell by a 3rd within the second quarter.

The corporate mentioned uncertainty and market volatility meant it could not pay an interim dividend this 12 months after a payout of 0.80 euros per share in 2019.

Earlier this 12 months, it additionally halved its remaining dividend for 2019 to 0.50 euros.

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