ABInbev has said its UK business grew in revenue “by high single digits” in 2019, driven by strong performances from its global brands and craft portfolio. 

Paula Lindenberg, president for UK & Ireland, Budweiser Brewing Group, said: “It has been a significant year for us as we moved our head office to central London and rebranded to Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, using the power and recognition of our global brand to introduce our renewed ambitions, which include creating a nation of smart drinkers and championing Britain’s iconic beer culture.

“Stella Artois remained the number one selling alcohol brand in 2019 and continues to grow year on year. The brand continued its partnerships with iconic events including the Wimbledon Championships and Ascot Racecourse. 

“Corona had an outstanding year with year-on-year growth of 11.7%. The brand brought incremental growth to the beer category throughout 2019 and increased its footprint in the on-trade. Corona also continued its mission to help rid the world’s seas of plastic by organising 68 UK beach cleans and cleaning a total of 5.8 million m². This mission, along with growing Corona draught, will remain areas of focus in 2020.

 “Our iconic global brand Budweiser became the first ever beer brand to partner with the England Senior Women’s Football Team, supporting the inspiring Lionesses throughout their run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™.

“Our no and low alcohol portfolio remains a focus area for the business as we look to meet our ambitious smart drinking goals. Bud Light is growing in both value and volume and has achieved double digit growth in the on-trade. Bud Light also announced its sponsorship of the England Senior Men’s team, which will be an exciting focus in 2020.

“Our craft and speciality brands had a great year in 2019; both Camden Hells and Camden Pale Ale were in the top 10 contributors to craft category growth in the off-trade. Camden grew both in both on- and off-trade, while Goose Island IPA saw double digit growth.”

Lindenberg also highlighted the company’s ongoing commitments.  

She said: “Notably, we announced a multi-million-pound investment in new technology which will allow us to eliminate plastic rings from can packaging across our entire UK-produced beer range by the end of 2020. The removal of plastic rings from all UK products, eliminating 850 tonnes of plastic from the market, will have a significant impact in reducing plastic from supermarket beer shelves and is a big step towards a more sustainable future.

“We fully invested in innovation, bringing Mike’s Hard Sparkling Water into the market. At 5% ABV, the alcoholic sparkling water is 99 calories per 330ml can, meeting a consumer demand for an alcoholic drink with natural flavours.

“Looking ahead, we are focused on accelerating growth, especially in the super premium segment with Corona and Camden, celebrating Bud Light’s sponsorship of the England senior men’s team at the Euro 2020 Tournament, making an impact in sustainable brewing by brewing all of our beers with 100% renewable energy and working to create a nation of smart drinkers by enhancing our no and low alcohol portfolio.”