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AB InBev Q4 Profit Falls; Expects Strong Revenue, EBITDA Growth In FY19

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AHBIF.PK,BUD) on Thursday reported that its profit attributable to equity holders for the fourth quarter fell to $457 million from $3.04 billion in the previous-year quarter. Earnings per share slipped to $0.23 from $1.54 per share a year ago.

Normalized profit attributable to equity holders for the quarter decreased to $1.57 billion from $2.05 billion last year, while normalized earnings per share declined to $0.80 from $1.04 a year ago.

Normalized profit for the quarter was negatively impacted by mark-to-market losses linked to the hedging of the company's share-based payment programs.

Revenue for the quarter declined to $14.25 billion from $14.60 billion in the prior year. On an organic basis, revenue grew by 5.3 percent, with revenue per hl growth of 4.9 percent in the quarter. On a constant geographic basis, revenue per hl grew by 4.6 percent.

Total volumes increased by 0.3 percent, with own beer volumes up 1.2 percent and non-beer volumes down 4.9 percent.

Combined revenues of the company's three global brands, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, grew by 9.8 percent in the quarter.

The AB InBev Board proposes a final dividend of 1.00 euro per share, subject to shareholder approval at the AGM on 24 April 2019. When combined with the interim dividend of 0.80 euros per share paid in November 2018, the total dividend for fiscal year would be 1.80 euros per share.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2019, AB InBev said it expects to deliver strong revenue and EBITDA growth, driven by the solid performance of its brand portfolio and strong commercial plans.

The company also expects to deliver full-year revenue per hl growth ahead of inflation based on premiumization and revenue management initiatives, while keeping costs below inflation.

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