Beer sales under pressure in South Africa as volumes decline by double-digits, says biggest brewer

Anheuser-Busch InBev, which incorporates South African Breweries, has published its second quarter and half-year 2020 results, showing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its business, across the world.

InBev – the seller of Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois; Hoegaarden; Castle, and Castle Lite – said that its performance in the second quarter was materially impacted by the pandemic, as expected. “As the quarter progressed, however, we saw considerable improvement,” it said.

April volumes declined by 32.4%, May volumes declined by 21.4% and June volumes grew by 0.7%, demonstrating the resilience of the global beer category.

In South Africa business was significantly impacted by the nationwide lockdown that began in late March 2020 and lasted until the end of May 2020, which included a complete ban on the sale of alcohol beverages. “Our brewery and distribution operations were severely restricted by government mandates,” it said.

Volumes in South Africa declined by double-digits in the six-month period ended June 2020 compared to the same period last year.

“We fully resumed operations at the beginning of June 2020, and we saw a strong recovery in the month with volume growth of high single digits,” the beer maker said. However, a second ban on the sale of alcohol beverages was implemented in the middle of July 2020, which it said, will impact results in the third quarter of 2020.


Read: Government looking at new proposal to lift South Africa’s alcohol sales ban: association

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