AB InBev hit by decline in beer sales in Russia and China

 

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The Independent Online

Shares in AB InBev, the world’s biggest brewer, fell three per cent in early trading after it missed profit target citing trouble in Ukraine and a chilly late summer in China.

The Stella Artois, Budweiser and Beck’s brewer said its beer volumes fell by 2.7 per cent in its third quarter to the end of September.

Earnings ticked up 1.3 per cent to $4.75 billion (£2.97 billion) but missed analyst forecasts and are well below the previous quarter’s 9.5 per cent growth.

It admitted the volume decline was largely driven by Europe, which accounted for more than 40 per cent of the fall, with problems in Russia and Ukraine to blame.

 

Tough trading in Russia, from sanctions to the weak rouble, follow similar problems at rival brewers Heineken and SABMiller, who earlier this year reported issues in the region.

The Chinese weakness was described as an industrywide setback and it said “beer volumes in China” were weakened by “record cold temperatures in August and September, in contrast to record high temperatures last year”.

Despite the poor performances in many of its markets the Belgium-based company argued “the third quarter was a one-off in terms of [underlying earnings] performance” and said it is “not reflective of expected future trends for the business”.

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