AB InBev predicts ‘meaningful’ recovery in 2021

AB InBev

Anheuser-Busch InBev expected earnings to be ‘meaningfully’ better in 2021 following the release of it’s Q4 and full-year 2020 results.

The brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona reported stronger numbers than expected amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Underlying profit dropped almost a third to $5bn from $7.2bn a year earlier. This was above an average forecast of $4.80 billion in a company-compiled poll.

AB InBev also pushed up the volumes of beer it sold by 1.6% in the final quarter of the year.

The brewer expects better sales and profits in 2021 but warned that pressure on margins would continue thanks to rising commodity prices and the higher cost of packaging for drinks consumed at home.

The volume of drinks sold in 2020 fell by 5.7% as it declined in every region of the world, apart from South America. Europe and Asia were particularly badly hit.

However, sales rebounded strongly in the key markets of Brazil and Mexico in the fourth quarter.

AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito said: “In an extremely challenging year, our teams rose to the occasion. We finished the year with momentum in our key markets by leveraging our fundamental strengths as a company and capturing the benefits of investments we have been making for several years in our portfolio and rapidly growing platforms, such as BEES and Zé Delivery. 

“We are now more closely connected than ever to the 6 million+ customers and 2 billion+ consumers we serve worldwide through our clear commercial strategy, revamped innovation process, digital platforms and ongoing operational excellence.”

Read AB InBev’s Q4 and full-year 2020 results here.

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