The world’s largest brewer reported over 15% top-line growth in FY21.
Volumes were up 9.6% over the year. Revenue was up 15.6%; and revenues per hectoliter were up 5.5%. Global brands Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona saw 22.9% growth outside their home markets.
Over $5bn in revenue was contributed from innovations in 2021.
“Our performance in 2021 reinforces our confidence that our unique ecosystem can deliver consistent growth and long-term value creation,” says the brewer.
“As we look ahead, we are energized by our momentum and unique opportunities to lead category growth, by activating consumer demand as the on-trade continues to re-open and marquee events return.”
Last year saw Michel Doukeris rise to the top job as CEO of the brewer, taking on the continued headwinds from the pandemic but also a more positive environment as the on-trade continues to re-open.
“2021 was an important step in our journey to create a future with more cheers,” notes a statement from the company.
“After successfully transitioning our CEO leadership, we introduced our new global purpose and evolved our strategy. Our people dream big and continued to meet the moment to deliver strong results in a challenging operating environment. Energized by our new purpose and guided by our strategy, we are transforming our company from being the category leader to leading category growth.
“We grew top-line by 15.6% in FY21, comprised of a mix of 9.6% volume and 5.5% revenue per hl growth, driven by premiumization and revenue management initiatives. EBITDA grew by 11.8%, at the top-end of our 2021 outlook, as top-line growth was partially offset by anticipated transactional FX and commodity headwinds, higher SG&A due primarily to higher variable compensation accruals and elevated supply chain costs. We delivered another year of strong cash flow generation, resulting in almost $10bn of gross debt reduction.
"Compared to pre-pandemic levels, we grew top-line by more than 10% and nearly recovered EBITDA on an organic basis.”
Highlights in 2020 included double-digit revenue growth in the non-alcoholic beer portfolio, led by global brand extensions such as Budweiser Zero and Stella 0.0, and local launches such as Cass Zero in South Korea and Quilmes Zero in Argentina.
Meanwhile, the premium portfolio contributed 20% revenue growth in FY21 and grew to now represent approximately one third of the company’s total revenue.
The global ‘Beyond Beer’ business grew by over 20%, contributing $1.6bn of revenue in FY21. In the US, Cutwater grew by triple-digits, and in South Africa, Brutal Fruit and Flying Fish grew by double-digits. The seltzer portfolio in the US continued to outpace the industry, growing 1.7x the segment.