13 Aug 2009 12:56

Anheuser-Busch InBev sees sales in Russia fall 12.3% in H1

MOSCOW. Aug 13 (Interfax) - Anheuser-Busch InBev saw beer sales in Russia decline 12.3% by volume in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period of 2008, the company said in a report.

Sales in Russia fell 14.1% in the second quarter of 2009 following a 9.3% decline in the first quarter.

The company said the drop in sales can be attributed to a reduction in the overall volume of the Russian beer market due to lower demand and a smaller market share as the company focuses on more high-margin brands. Anheuser-Busch InBev said its market share contracted in the first half, although the company gained back 0.4 percentage points in July.

Anheuser-Busch InBev saw sales in Russia fall 12.4% in 2008, including 21.1% in the fourth quarter. The company attributed the decline to stagnation on the Russian beer market.

The reduction in sales in Russia in the second quarter led to an 8.9% decline in the company's overall sales in Central and Eastern Europe in the three months and a 7.5% decline in the first half.

Anheuser-Busch InBev's portfolio features over 200 trademarks including global brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois, Beck's, Leffe and Hoegaarden as well as local trademarks such as Brahma, Quilmes, Michelob, Harbin, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigovskoye and Jupiler.

InBev owns eight breweries in Russia and three breweries in Ukraine. Anheuser-Busch started producing its Bud beer brand in November 2008 using facilities at the Heineken brewery in St. Petersburg.