According to Euromonitor International, global beer value and volume sales grew by 7% and 2% respectively in 2013, reflecting a trend towards net revenue outstripping volume sales. However, the growth in global volumes was not reflected in the performance of the top four brewers, as much of the growth was derived from the low-base development of smaller brewers, and growing demand in China. Global Brewers’ performance in 2013 was mixed, as A-B InBev observed strong margins and revenue sales growth, albeit with some volume decline. Conversely, Heineken NV slumped in some of its key performance indicators. Across the board, there was a decline in global volumes for the big four brewers.
A-B InBev’s global beer performance in 2013 was strong relative to the next three top brewers. However, the company’s performance in volume terms was drastically affected by regulatory changes in Russia and political instability in the Ukraine, resulting in a consolidated 16% decline in these two markets. In addition, two of its key markets, the US and Brazil, witnessed weak economic conditions, which placed pressure on disposable incomes, witnessing a decline of around 3% each in volume sales. Despite all of this, such drastic declines were reduced by a 9% volume sales gain in China during 2013.