12 Aug 2010 12:49

Anheuser-Busch InBev sales in Russia slip in Q2

MOSCOW. Aug 12 (Interfax) - Brewing concern Anheuser-Busch InBev sold 1.1% less beer by volume in Q2 than in the same quarter last year, the company reported.

The company said this was a definite improvement over Q1, when sales were down 14%, attributing the slowdown in falling beer sales to active marketing support for Bud beer in the run-up to the World Cup Finals.

Sales were down 6.4% year-on-year for the first half as a whole.

Anheuser-Busch said it had been able to offset Russia's january 1 tripling of beer excise rates in its factory gate prices only by the end of Q2, and that lead to per-liter sales revenues rise from Q1.

The company's sales volume in 2009 was 13.1% down from the previous year, which it attributed to stagnation on the Russian brewing market.

Anheuser-Busch InBev's sales in Eastern and Central Europe were down 1.2% in Q2 at 810.0 million liters, and in Q1 6.4% to 1.260 billion liters. EBITDA for the first half dropped 34.4% to $129 million, due to Russia hiking its excises at the start of 2010 and high promotional costs in Russia.

The brewing concerns world sales for Q2 were up 2.1% at 10.060 billion liters but 0.5% at 19.240 billion liters for the first half as a whole. Jan-June sales revenues increased 3.1% to $17.5 billion, and EBITDA 5.4% to $6.44 billion. Net profits came to $2.33 billion versus $1.92 billion a year earlier.

The company called Anheuser-Busch InBev is the result of a merger between two of the world's largest brewing companies, with InBev buying Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion in November of 2008.

The company carries a portfolio of more than two hundred beer labels, including international labels Budweiser, Stella Artois, Beck's, Leffe and Hoegaarden, and local brews Brahma, Quilmes, Michelob, Harbin, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigovskoye, and Jupiler.

InBev owns eight breweries in Russia and three in Ukraine.