AB InBev, Carlsberg Raise Full-Year Forecasts After Sparkling Summer

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AB InBev, Carlsberg Raise Full-Year Forecasts After Sparkling Summer
Credit: © Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com -- Shares in two of the world's biggest brewing groups rose on Thursday after they both upgraded their guidance for the year in the wake of strong summer sales.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (EBR: ABI ), the group behind Budweiser and Stella Artois, said it now expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to rise by between 6% and 8% this year, after a quarter in which it sold 3.7% more beer than a year ago, despite substantial price increases. Its medium-term forecast of annual EBITDA growth between 4% and 8% remained unchanged.

AB InBev stock rose 6.5% in European morning trading to a six-week high in response.

The group said strong performances in Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa helped its overall result, while it also noted that Budweiser sales rose nearly 8% despite disruption from widespread lockdowns during the period in China, its most important market. China was a drag on the group's performance, with revenue growing only 1.7% and EBITDA falling.

At the same time, Carlsberg (CSE: CARLb ) stock rose 1.6% after the Danish-based group also raised its profit forecast and expanded its buyback program. It will buy back 1.5 billion kroner ($202 million) of stock in the current quarter, up from 1 billion in the three months through September.

Carlsberg said the summer had brought a "better-than-expected performance in many of our markets." It now expects organic profit growth of between 10% and 12% this year, having earlier forecast growth of just under 10%.

Revenue in the third quarter was up 12% from a year ago, as the group registered growth across all of its regions, led by Asia.

"Our earnings upgrade and the increase in the next quarterly share buy-back are proof points of the resilience of our brands and the strength and agility of our business," said chief executive Cees 't Hart.

The two groups' reports struck a more positive note than that of Heineken (AS: HEIN ), which had warned of weakening demand when it reported earlier in the week.

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