AB InBev Names Michel Doukeris as Next CEO -- Update
--AB InBev said CEO Carlos Brito will step down after 15 years
in the role
--The Budweiser brewer swung to a first-quarter profit as sales
--The company said beer volumes in the period exceeded
By Adria Calatayud
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA said Thursday that Chief Executive
Officer Carlos Brito will step down from his role and that Michel
Doukeris will succeed him, as it reported a return to first-quarter
net profit on sales that beat expectations.
The world's largest brewer--with brands such as Budweiser,
Stella Artois and Corona--said revenue returned to pre-pandemic
levels in the first quarter, with beer volumes exceeding those of
the comparable periods of 2019 and 2020 on the back of a strong
performance of its premium portfolio.
"Our business is off to a very strong start in 2021," Mr. Brito
The company said its CEO succession will be effective July 1.
Mr. Doukeris has headed the group's North American operations since
January 2018, having joined the company in 1996. He has held
several commercial operations roles in Latin America, led its
operations in China and Asia Pacific for seven years and moved to
the U.S. in 2016.
Mr. Brito will step down after 15 years as CEO and 32 years with
the company, overseeing the integration of U.S. brewer
Anheuser-Busch with the Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate InBev and,
more recently, the 2016 takeover of rival SABMiller.
AB InBev said sales grew 17% in the first quarter on an organic
basis, while total organic volume growth was 13%. Organic volumes
jumped 63% in Asia Pacific and rose by 12% in South America and by
2.9% in North America. They fell 2.1% in Europe, the Middle East
and Africa, the company said.
Analysts had expected AB InBev to report first-quarter organic
growth in sales and volumes of 8.7% and 7.3%, respectively,
according to consensus estimates compiled by the company.
AB InBev made a profit for the quarter of $595 million compared
with a loss of $2.25 billion a year earlier, it said.
Revenue was $12.29 billion compared with $11.00 billion, the
AB InBev said it expects normalized earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation and amortization to grow between 8% and 12%
this year, and revenue to grow ahead of Ebitda from a combination
of volume and price. The company had previously said it expected
its top and bottom-line results in 2021 to improve meaningfully
compared with 2020.
AB InBev said it delivered top- and bottom-line growth in the
U.S., as it continues to refocus on faster-growing core segments.
The company said Michelob Ultra and its craft brands grew strongly
in the first quarter in the U.S.
In China, the company's revenue grew more than 90%, surpassing
pre-pandemic levels, and earnings were also higher than in the
comparable periods of 2019 and 2020, the company said.
However, AB InBev's European business continues to be hurt by
significant Covid-19 restrictions on bars and restaurants, and the
company was also hit by a government-mandated one-month ban on
alcohol sales in South Africa, it said.
Write to Adria Calatayud at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 06, 2021 02:20 ET (06:20 GMT)
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