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AB InBev reports 2.6% YoY revenue growth

One year removed from Bud Light boycott, global beermaker ‘encouraged’ by Q1 results.
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The makers of Bud Light can kick back and crack open a cold one, knowing the worst of a consumer boycott is likely behind them.

AB InBev, which also brews popular beers including Corona and Stella Artois, reported 2.6% YoY revenue growth and $1.5 million in underlying profit for the first quarter.

“We are encouraged by our continued momentum and results to start the year,” Michel Doukeris, CEO of AB InBev, said during a recent earnings call.

The beermaker has weathered a backlash and boycott of Bud Light following a promotional partnership of the brand with transgender socialmedia influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The boycott may have been responsible for Bud Light’s dethroning as the best-selling beer in the US last year, according to the New York Times.

To be clear, AB InBev is likely not ready to tap the keg for a full-on celebration. Waning Bud Light sales volumes impacted US retailer sales, the company reported. North American sales volumes were down 11.1% YoY, but increased elsewhere including Central America (4.5%) and the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (4.8%).

The boycott started just over a year ago, which means this is likely the last quarter to show related YoY sales declines, noted CNBC.

“ABI has got its likely hardest quarter of 2024 out of the way with little to no bruises,” Laurence Whyatt, analyst at Barclays, told Reuters. “Bud Light continues to weigh on results, but this is the last quarter to face a significant impact.”

Doukeris noted the company is seeing growth among brands such as Michelob ULTRA, Busch Light, Kona, Nütrl and Cutwater. Robert Ottenstein, an analyst with Evercore, said on the earnings call that growth among the non-Bud Light brands suggests a “stronger and more balanced portfolio.”

“Our entire strategy in the US is about portfolio rebalance, and those are the brands that are making a huge contribution for us regaining momentum,” Doukeris responded. “And, of course, for our portfolio to be more aligned with all trends that we have all there.”

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CFO Brew helps finance pros navigate their roles with insights into risk management, compliance, and strategy through our newsletter, virtual events, and digital guides.