Decline in Volumes
During the third quarter, Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a 3.4% decrease in overall volumes on an organic basis, missing market expectations of a 2.7% fall. Specifically, North America witnessed a significant decline in volumes, with a 17.1% drop compared to the previous quarter’s 14.5% decrease.
The decline in North American volumes can be attributed to a boycott that was sparked by a post made by Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender social-media star, on her Instagram account. Mulvaney shared an image of a personalized can of Bud Light gifted by the brewer, which led to negative publicity and subsequent sales drops for Bud Light and other brands.
While earnings for the third quarter rose to $1.47 billion from the previous year’s $1.43 billion, it fell short of a FactSet consensus estimate of $1.85 billion. Similarly, revenue increased from $15.09 billion to $15.57 billion, driven by pricing actions, premiumization strategies, and other revenue-management moves. Despite the growth in revenue, it fell slightly short of the market consensus of $15.72 billion.
On an organic basis, revenue demonstrated strong growth, reaching 5.0%, exceeding the company’s own provided market consensus rise of 4.7%. Moreover, normalized earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization saw a slight increase to $5.43 billion from $5.31 billion.
Anheuser-Busch InBev maintains its confidence in achieving its 2023 EBITDA growth target within the range of 4% to 8%, in line with its medium-term outlook. Furthermore, the company expects revenue to grow ahead of EBITDA, driven by a healthy combination of volume and price.
Despite the decline in volumes and falling short of market expectations, Anheuser-Busch InBev remains optimistic about its future prospects. The company will continue to employ strategies such as premiumization and revenue-management moves to drive growth. By leveraging a combination of volume and price, Anheuser-Busch InBev aims to achieve its long-term goals.