AB InBev sees profits slip


Due to the corona crisis, AB InBev sold significantly less beer in 2020. Profits also decreased significantly. Nevertheless, the brewer was able to grow again in the second half of the year.


Better final quarter

The brewer of e.g. Stella Artois and Leffe sold 5.7% less beer last year. As a result, total turnover fell by 3.7% to 46.9 billion dollar (38.4 billion euro). The ebitda landed at 17.3 billion dollars (14.2 billion euros), some 13% lower than a year ago.

Yet there are also bright spots. In the third quarter, AB InBev already reported better than expected results and the trend continued. In the final quarter, beer sales increased again (+1.6%) and revenue grew by 4.5%. The efforts the brewer made to sell more beer online, paid off, writes business newspaper De Tijd. In China, AB InBev would have the largest online market share.


Because of lower profits, debt ratio increased again to 4.8 times the gross operating profit. In recent years, AB InBev has done everything possible to reduce the mountain of debt. But the corona virus threw a spanner in the works. In absolute figures, however, the debts fell to 82.7 billion dollars (67.7 billion euros).

Given the developments in recent months, AB InBev expects a "significant" improvement in volumes and revenues in 2021. In the meantime, expensive raw materials and disappointing exchange rates continue to weigh on the profit margin.