Off-licence sales boost Budweiser brewing giant AB InBev
Brewing giant AB InBev has reported "resilient" results, fuelled by good off-licence sales of its best known brands.
The company's third quarter results show revenue grew by four per cent.
But overall, in the first nine months of 2020, revenue declined by 6.8 per cent.
AB InBev has a major site at Samlesbury, near Preston, where leading brands like Budweiser, Stella and Corona are made and bottled.
Paula Lindenberg, President, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, said: “Throughout this quarter, despite ongoing challenges in the sector brought on by further Covid-19 restrictions and closures, Budweiser Brewing Group introduced new initiatives to continue supporting our customers, and launched campaigns from our much-loved brands, all while continuing to prioritise the health and safety of our teams.
“In the third quarter, our UK business grew in value and volume, supported by the continued strength of our brands in the off-trade channel and the gradual re-opening of the on-trade channel.
"Our iconic brands, including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, performed strongly, showcasing the strength of our brand portfolio.
"In recent months, our penetration grew 40 per cent, representing almost an additional two million households entering the category and choosing our portfolio of brands to enjoy in new occasions. We are confident this will lead to continued growth."
The company said Stella Artois and Budweiser remained the number one and two most valuable beer brands in the off-trade, while Corona grew at nearly three times the rate of the total category.
Ms Lindenberg said: “Despite the pandemic, we reached two significant sustainability milestones this quarter. Firstly, we announced that 100 percent of the barley used to brew our beers now comes from British farms, championing British agriculture while reducing carbon emissions.
"We have also removed all plastic rings from the beers we produce in the UK and replaced them with fully recyclable paperboard wraps, eliminating 250 tonnes of plastic annually."
She added: "Looking forward, we will harness our learnings from the first wave of the Covid-19 period so far, as well as the strength of our teams, to adapt to any evolving challenges that may arise.”