AB InBev sees volume decline in on-trade due to restrictions

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Cash injection: In March, Budweiser Brewing Group announced a £115m investment in two of its UK breweries
Cash injection: In March, Budweiser Brewing Group announced a £115m investment in two of its UK breweries

Related tags: Beer, Ab inbev, Budweiser Brewing Group, Lager, Finance

Global beer company AB InBev saw a total volume drop of low-single digits as a result of pub closures, it has reported.

In its latest trading update, the business also stated its own beer volumes, excluding third party volumes, were flat year on year with double-digit growth in the off-trade.

Revenue per hectolitre dropped by low single digits as brand mix from the outperformance of premium brands was offset by the channel mix, leading to a revenue decline of mid-single digits.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by double digits as a results of the top line decline and channel mix as the on-trade carries higher margins in continental Europe, AB InBev stated.

Strong recovery

Total AB InBev volumes increased by 13.3% in the first quarter on 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2020 to 135,553,000hl and underlying profit was $1bn (about £719m).

National business Budweiser Brewing Group (BBG) UK & Ireland reported strong sales of a number of brands in supermarkets amid the pandemic.

BBG UK and Ireland president Paula Lindenberg said: “After a year like no other, BBG UK&I has started 2021 strongly and has seen volume and value growth in the off-trade, due to the strong performance from brands Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona, Bud Light and Camden Hells.

“Despite the difficulties of the UK remaining in lockdown, our amazing teams helped keep Britain’s favourite beers on supermarket shelves while supporting our pub partners to prepare for a strong recovery of the sector.”

Hopeful future

The subsidiary of AB InBev has pumped millions two of its breweries amid the coronavirus crisis, creating further jobs too.

She said: “BBG is a proud British brewer with a strong presence in the UK. After the UK economy suffered a tough year, in March we announced a £115m investment in our two major UK breweries in south Wales and Lancashire to drive economic prosperity across the UK and increase our capacity and efficiency.

“With the investment comes new sustainable equipment and recruitment of 55 new permanent roles at our sites. We’re proud to be recruiting in the local communities where we operate at a time when the sector has seen such a difficult period.”

Looking ahead, the company stated it was keeping safety at the fore and was optimistic about the future prospects.

Lindenberg added: “As ever, the safety of our teams remains our number one priority. While the UK looks forward to recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and to a new normal, we will continue to support our customers and local communities as they recover and rebuild.

“We are hopeful for the future and look forward to a safe summer of sport, socialising and coming together with loved ones.”

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