Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, has hiked its proposed dividend but forecasts challenges in major markets like China and Brazil, after fourth-quarter earnings came in below expectations. The Belgium-based beer maker, which is set to buy next largest rival SABMiller Plc for around $100 billion, raised its dividend to a total of 3.60 euros ($3.97) from 3 euros, compared with a market expectation of about 3.30 euros. The maker of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois forecast improved volumes this year and brand mix in its largest market – the United States, another strong year in Mexico, but economic challenges in China and Brazil…Full Article: China Daily Feb 2016

Key Point

  • During late 2016, Anheuser-Busch InBev expects to complete its US$100 billion acquisition of SABMiller.
  • In 2015 (particularly during the latter half), China’s beer market grew at its slowest rate in 25 years.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In October 2015, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV agreed to purchase SABMiller for US$104.2 billion.
  • As of mid-2015, the most widely consumed Belgian beers in China were Stella Artois, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Duvel.
  • As of early 2015, five breweries had an 80% share of the beer market in China. These include Huarun Snow Beer Co Ltd, Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd, Anheuser–Busch InBev (e.g. Budweiser), Beijing Yanjing Brewery, and the Carlsberg Group. Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev owns and operates the Chinese breweries of Harbin and Sedrin.
  • In 2014, China’s beer production declined (by 2.7%) for the first time in 24 years.
  • In April 2014, Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired Chinese brewer Siping Ginsber (Jilin province).
  • In 2004, Inbev acquired Harbin Brewery (Heilongjiang province) and Xuejin Brewery (Fujian province) in 2006.
  • In 1997, Anheuser-Busch InBev entered the Chinese market by acquiring Jinling Brewery, which is based in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

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