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Anheuser-Busch InBev Q4 Profit Falls; Projects EBITDA To Decline In Q1

Beer manufacturer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AHBIF.PK,BUD) on Thursday reported that its profit attributable to equity holders for the fourth quarter fell to $114 million from a restated $456 million in the previous-year quarter. Earnings per share slipped to $0.06 from $0.23 per share a year ago.

Normalized profit attributable to equity holders for the quarter decreased to $962 million from a restated $1.41 billion last year, while normalized earnings per share declined to $0.48 from $0.71 a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter declined to $13.33 billion from $13.79 billion in the prior year. On an organic basis, revenue grew by 2.5 percent, with revenue per hl growth of 0.9 percent in the quarter.

Total volumes increased by 1.6 percent, with own beer volumes up 0.8 percent and non-beer volumes rising 8.0 percent.

Combined revenues of the company's three global brands, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, grew by 2.1 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 April 29, 2020. When combined with the interim dividend of 0.80 euros per share paid in November 2019, the total dividend for FY19 would be 1.80 euros per share.

Looking ahead, AB InBev said that the impact of the COVID-19 virus outbreak on its business continued to evolve. For the first two months of 2020, the company estimates that the outbreak has resulted in lost revenue of approximately $285 million and lost EBITDA of about $170 million in China.

For the first quarter of 2020, the company expects EBITDA to decline by around 10 percent given the impact of COVID-19 on its results as well as a challenging comparable, especially in Brazil.

For fiscal 2020, the company expects EBITDA growth of 2 percent to 5 percent, with the majority of the growth to be delivered in the second half of the year.

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