Top brewer AB InBev profits hit by weak Brazil performance
The world's biggest brewer AB InBev said Friday third-quarter profits were hurt by a weak performance in Brazil, one its most important markets, and it had cut 2016 forecasts as a result.
The Belgian-based Budweiser maker, fresh from completing a blockbuster merger with rival SABMiller, said its three months to September net profit slumped 18.5 percent from a year earlier to $1.4 billion (1.3 billion euros).
A broader profit measure, earnings before interest, tax and depreciation, fell 2.0 percent to $4.0 billion.
Sales were slightly weaker, at $11.1 billion after $11.4 billion although core brands Corona, Stella Artois and Budweiser all registered solid gains.
AB InBev said that “although 2016 has been a very challenging year in Brazil, we remain optimistic about the future for our business.”
The Rio Olympic Games had been previously expected to give the economy a major boost but AB InBev said “results in Brazil were very weak … driven by continued pressure on consumer disposable income.”
“We expect that favourable demographics, the closing of regional disparities in per capita incomes, and consumer demand for innovative and premium products, will help to drive long term growth,” it added.
The company said it was trimming its 2016 forecast for volume growth to be in line with inflation, rather than slightly above, but it remained confident in the outlook for the new merged entity.
“The combined company has a leadership position in most of the world’s largest profit pools and a rich portfolio including seven of the top 10 most valuable beer brands in the world,” it said.