AB InBev reports mid-single digits revenue growth in South Africa

AFRICA – Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, has reported double-digit top-and-bottom-line growth in South Africa with record-high full-year volumes despite capacity constraints in the fourth quarter.

In South Africa, the company’s revenue grew by mid-single digits, with mid-single digit revenue per hl growth primarily driven by revenue management initiatives in the quarter. Revenue for FY22 grew by the mid-teens with mid-single digit revenue per hl growth and a high-single-digit increase in volume. EBITDA grew by the mid-teens.

AB InBev’s top line in Nigeria grew by low teens this quarter and by over 20% in FY22, driven primarily by pricing actions, though volumes declined due to ongoing supply chain constraints and a soft industry in both the quarter and the full year.

In other African markets, the company had an upswing revenue of aggregate by high-single digits in 4Q22 and low-teens in FY22, driven by Tanzania, Botswana, and Zambia. AB InBev noted that its BEES is now available in Tanzania and Uganda.

In general, the Belgium-based brewer’s volume drinks sales fell by 0.6 percent in the last quarter of 2022, driven by a 0.9 percent decline in volume beer sales. Beer sales had the sharpest fall in North America and Asia.

The owner of Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Corona posted a full-year revenue rise of 11.2 percent, with volume sales up 2.3 percent year on year.

Its revenue per hectolitre was “accelerating” in the second half of the year “driven by revenue management initiatives and continued premiumization”.

Premiumization, which is a broad portfolio of above core beer offerings, continued to lead the segment globally and grew revenue by low-teens in FY22., according to AB InBev

Corona and Stella Artois led the growth of the brewer’s global brands with a revenue increase of 18.6% and 11.7% respectively, outside of their home markets. Budweiser grew by 2.5% outside of the US, despite the impact of COVID-19 restrictions in China, the brand’s largest market.

In FY22, the Beyond Beer business contributed approximately US$1.6 billion in revenue and grew by low-single digits, as growth globally was partially offset by a soft malt-based seltzer industry in the US.

In South Africa, Brutal Fruit and Flying Fish delivered 18% revenue growth while, in the US, within the spirits-based ready-to-drink segment, Cutwater and NÜTRL vodka seltzer combined grew revenues by over 70% with volumes ahead of the industry.

The company’s core profit – earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization – rose 7.6% on a like-for-like basis to US$4.95 billion, above the 7.1% gain expected by analysts in a company-compiled poll.

For 2023, AB InBev expects EBITDA to grow in line with a medium-term outlook of between 4-8% and revenue to grow ahead of EBITDA from a healthy combination of volume and price reflecting its current assessment of inflation and other macroeconomic conditions.

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