Stella brewer upbeat despite fall in UK volumes

04 May, 2011

Stella Artois and Budweiser producer AB Inbev has reported a small decline in its UK beer volumes, although the world’s biggest brewer managed to more than double its first-quarter profit on a global scale.

The same period in 2010 was bogged down by financing costs, so even though the company’s beer volumes are broadly flat, the business is making more money.

In the UK, own beer volumes decreased 1.1%, which AB Inbev blamed partly on the late Easter. But it added that its “focus brands” – Budweiser, Beck’s and Stella Artois – all “outperformed the industry and delivered market share gains”.

Global net profit rose to $964 million in the three months to March 31, up from $475 million in the same period in 2010. Revenue grew 8.1% to $9 billion.




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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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