Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A-B Posts Record Profit, Increases Market Share

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A-B Posts Record Profit, Increases Market Share

Article excerpt

Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. tapped into the popularity of its Budweiser line of beers and brewed up record profit and sales in the second quarter, the company reported Wednesday.

A-B's board also announced an increase in its regular quarterly dividend to 40 cents per share, from 36 cents per share.

For the second quarter, which ended on June 30, the world's largest brewery had sales of $3.6 billion, an increase of 5.3 percent from $3.4 billion in the second quarter last year.

Six-month beer sales totaled $6.6 billion, up from $6.3 billion from the same period last year.

Earnings increased by 4.5 percent to $322.5 million for the second quarter of 1994.

Six-month earnings for the St. Louis beer giant totaled $527 million.

"We are pleased with our beer sales trends and the financial performance of the company during the first half of 1994," said August A. Busch III, chairman and president.

Anheuser-Busch stock closed Wednesday up by half a point to $51.62 1/2.

"Our total beer sales to wholesalers increased by 3.8 percent, and sales to retailers, considered a more accurate measure of consumer demand, increased more than 4 percent during the first half," Busch said.

"Our Budweiser family of brands, including Ice Draft, grew by more than 5 percent, continuing the favorable mix trends established in the first quarter."

During the first six months of 1994, Anheuser-Busch said, its beer market share increased by 1.2 percent to 43.7 percent of the U.S. market.

Analysts reacted favorably to the A-B report.

"The latest figures show that Anheuser-Busch is doing very well - particularly in an industry which is basically moving sideways," said Robert S. Weinberg, a beer industry analyst and former A-B executive.

A.G. Edwards & Sons analyst Barry M. Ziegler takes a more cautious view.

"The earnings came in on target, but they were not rip-roaring," Ziegler said. …

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