AB InBev cuts interim dividend, net profit falls
The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (ABI.BT), on Thursday cut the interim dividend as third-quarter net profit fell as a result of losses linked to the hedging of the group’s share-based payment programs.
The maker of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois made a profit $956 million compared with $2.06 billion in the same period a year earlier.
Revenue declined to $13.28 billion from $14.74 billion and total volumes sold fell to 146.2 million hectoliters from 161 million hectoliters.
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In the U.S., the company’s largest market, revenue in the third quarter grew by 1.5%, but declined 1.4% in the first nine months of the year. AB InBev said within its premium segment, Budweiser and Bud Light performed better than last year, but the Premium and Premium Light segments remain under pressure as consumers trade up to higher price products.
Belgium-based AB InBev cut the interim dividend in half to 80 European cents per share from EUR1.60 and said it intends to propose a final dividend of EUR1.00 for fiscal 2018, which would result in a total dividend payment for the year of EUR1.80.
The company said after rebasing its dividend by 0% it expects the dividend to grow over time but in the short term, growth will be modest.
AB InBev said despite recognizing volatility in some of its key markets, the group expects to deliver strong growth in revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the full-year, driven by the solid performance of its brand portfolio and commercial plans.
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