AB Inbev suffers World Cup hangover as sales dip

AB Inbev suffered a hangover from its summer success in its latest quarter with the volume of beer sold in the UK down by almost double digits as customers worked their way through the untouched cans of Budweiser bought during the World Cup.

The Stella Artois, Beck’s and Budweiser maker says volumes dipped 9.8 per cent in the three months to 30 September. Unseasonably warm weather in the third quarter last year and “high stock holdings following the World Cup” were blamed for the dip.

The brewer had enjoyed a 13.5% increase in sales during the second quarter on the back of the exposure its sponsorship of the World Cup and Wimbledon gave flagship brands Budweiser and Stella Artois in the UK.

Despite the quarter on quarter dip, the company’s activation of its sponsorship assets still sees it ahead in the year to date – volumes have grown 1.3% in the nine months to 30 September.

Outgoing president of AB InBev UK Inge Plochaet says it is “pleased” with nine month performance.

“This was driven by excellent growth in Budweiser in both the on and off trade and a very strong performance in Stella Artois in the on trade and retail,” she adds.

Globally, the company grew volumes of beer sold by 0.2% in the quarter, pushing revenue up 1.1%.

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