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THE NUMBERS

It’s a thirsty business, AB InBev bets on beer and beyond

It’s a thirsty business, AB InBev bets on beer and beyond
Beck’s beer crates at the brewery of Belgian Anhaeuser Busch InBev (AB InBev) in Bremen, Germany, in July 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE/FOCKE STRANGMANN)

The brewing giant’s mainstream portfolio delivered high-single digit revenue growth in the 2023 financial year, with double-digit growth in South Africa, Colombia and Dominican Republic.

Even in tough times, beer remains an affordable luxury for many, which is why brewing giant AB InBev is betting on beer building better business (and not just bodies).

Not only that but by moving Beyond Beer sales, the group has a thirsty market.

The Belgian multinational, which is dual-listed on the JSE, has delivered yet another year of consistent growth, seeing a 7.8% rise in revenue and a 7% increase in operational performance. It’s put the company in a strong position to propose an increased dividend to shareholders and execute on a $1-billion share buyback, said CEO Michel Doukeris in a statement. 

Revenue was up by 7.8% in the FY23, with 9.9% revenue in the first half of the year. 

The group’s global brands Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Michelob Ultra saw an 18.2% rise in combined revenues in FY23, but a 1.7% decline in total volumes, as well as a 2.3% decline in beer volumes. Non-beer volumes were up by 2.1%.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Prost! AB InBev’s global results reveal just how well beer builds better business

The Beyond Beer business contributed about $1.5-billion towards revenue, primarily driven by Brutal Fruit and Flying Fish in Africa, its spirits-based ready-to-drink portfolio in the US and by Beats in Brazil, which all grew revenue by double-digits. 

The above-core beer portfolio grew revenue by low-teens in FY23, with the  premium and super premium brands gaining in key markets South Africa, Mexico and Brazil. 

AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris in London. (Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for AB Inbev)

Double digits

Its mainstream portfolio delivered high-single digit revenue growth in the 2023 financial year, with double-digit growth in South Africa, Colombia and Dominican Republic. 

Underlying profit was $1 ,661-million in 4Q23 compared to $1 ,739-million in 4Q22, rising on a year-on-year basis from $6,093-million to $6,158-million in FY23.

The administrative building of Belgian Anhaeuser Busch InBev in Bremen, northern Germany, in July 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE/FOCKE STRANGMANN)

In October 2023, the brewing giant announced a $1-billion share buyback programme. By 23 February 2024, it had completed $870-million of that process. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: SA Company Results: The Latest

South Africa’s record volumes

South Africa has seen record-high volumes and revenue grew by high-teens, largely driven by pricing actions and continued premiumisation. 

“Our results are a testament to the strength of the beer category, resilience of our business and people, consistent execution of our replicable growth drivers and our unwavering commitment to invest for long-term growth and value creation.” 

The AB InBev board has proposed a full year 2023 dividend of €0.82 per share, subject to obtaining approval. DM

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