AB InBev, owner of Budweiser, reports rising profits as beer drinkers bear higher prices


A customer walks past the brewery section of a HEB grocery store on March 2, 2023 in Austin, Texas. AB InBev, owner of Budweiser, is the world’s largest brewer.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Anheuser-Busch InBev, owner of Budweiser, reported an increase in first-quarter profits on Thursday, saying the beer industry had shown resilience despite inflationary pressures.

The Belgian brewing giant – the world’s largest – reported a base profit of $4.76 billion, up 13.6% from the first quarter of 2022. The rise from a consensus estimate of 5, 6% published by the company. Underlying profit attributable to shareholders was $1.3 billion, up from $1.2 billion in the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose 13.2% year-on-year to $14.2 billion, just ahead of the $14.1 billion forecast, according to Refinitiv data.

The company said this was due to “pricing actions” and product “premiumization”, with sales up 0.9% over the period. House beer volumes increased 0.4% and non-beer volumes increased 3.6%.

“Beer industry performance improved in 1Q23, demonstrating its resilience even against the backdrop of a continuing inflationary environment,” the company said in its statement.

Earlier this week, AB InBev’s rival Molson Coors told a similar story with its first-quarter results beating profit forecasts as customers continued to buy its products despite higher prices.

In April — following the reporting period — AB InBev faced backlash online against his Bud Light brand after a brief social media partnership with a transgender influencer. Online personalities called for a beer boycott, while others said AB InBev failed to show enough subsequent support for TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney.

Later that month, the company said it was working “with hundreds of influencers across our brands” as one of many ways to “authentically connect with audiences of diverse demographics.”

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