"Stay calm, carry on" seemed to be the motto at Anheuser-Busch InBev as the global brewer reported total volume declined 1.4% globally, organic revenue rose 7.2% but net profit was slashed to $607 million from $1,975 million a year earlier.
That 7.2% revenue growth isn't as impressive as it initally appears because it includes Argentina, which is experiencing hyperinflation. "Fully excluding the Argentinean operation, 2Q23 organic revenue increased for AB InBev would be 4.6% versus the 7.2% reported.
Revenue from ABI's own beer volumes fell 1.8% and non-beer revenue inched up 0.5%. But organic revenue from third-party products jumped 12.9%.
In the U.S., where ABI's Anheuser-Busch unit was struggling with fallout from the Dylan Mulvaney controversy, revenue fell 10.5% and STR volumes fell 14% "with performance impacted by the decline of the Bud Light brand," said Michel Doukeris, CEO.
"We have actively engaged with over 17,000 consumers since April, and there are a few clear insights. First, most consumer surveyed are favorable toward the Bud Light brand and approximately 80% are favorable or neutral. The consumer will always be at the center of everything we do. All of us at ABI deeply care about and respect all our consumers.
"Second, regardless of favorability, our consumers across all sentiment groups have three points of feedback in common. One, they want to enjoy their beer without a debate. Two, they want Bud Light to focus on beer. Three, they want Bud Light to concentrate on the platforms that all consumers love, such as NFL, Folds of Honor and Music" Doukeris said, adding:
"ABI's total beer industry share fell 520 basis points to 36.9%, it has been stable since the last week of April through the end of June. U.S. EBITDA declined by 28.2% this quarter with approximately two thirds driven by market share performance and one third driven by productivity loss and the long-term strategic choices we made to increase sales and market investments in our brands and provide support to our wholesaler partners."
Responding to a question, Doukeris said ABI's market share in the U.S. seems to be stabilizing "with signals of improvement."