A-B Sales to Retailers Slip

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Brew Blog

Core brands drop 1.4 percent in first quarter.

Anheuser-Busch reported on Wednesday that its U.S. sales to retailers slid during the first quarter.

Total STRs were down 0.7 percent. But core brands fell by 1.4 percent. Shipments were up 0.4 percent, but that was driven by a 0.6 point push from imports.

A-B reported earnings per share of 71 cents for the first quarter, That’s up 6 percent over the year-earlier period but a penny shy of analyst expectations.

A-B CEO August Busch IV said he was optimistic about the summer.

From the earnings release:

We are increasing marketing and sales support for our core beer brands, and, although U.S. beer sales-to-retailers results were below expectations, we are optimistic concerning the outlook for beer sales during the key summer selling season.

Equity income from its investment in Grupo Modelo, the brewer of Corona Extra, slid by $33 million, or 21 percent. Equity income in the year earlier period was buoyed by a $17 million benefit from the return of an advertising fund that was part of Modelo’s former beer import contract.

The earnings release can be seen here.

The latest issue of Brew Magazine took a look at A-B’s effort to revamp its core brands. The issue can be seen here.

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