Budweiser set to lock horns with Heineken, Guinness in Africa

Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito said its Budweiser brand will triumph over Heineken and Guinness in Africa’s biggest beer markets.

Brito was speaking to analysts on Thursday, following AB InBev’s second quarter and half-year 2017 results.

He said that the big beer merger of last year which combined the markets and brands formerly owned by SABMiller with its own brands opened up new markets in Africa for its global brands – Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona.

The CEO foresees a fight for market share between Africa’s perennial beer giants – Heineken and Guinness against AB InBev’s global brands, especially on the continent’s biggest beer markets – Nigeria and South Africa.

Brito said that despite making a late entry into Africa, he was self-assured his brands will triumph over its rivals because AB InBev has a broader portfolio of brands to go after Heineken and Guinness.

“We have brands that we believe….can do better because some of these companies are one branded and we have a portfolio of brands for different locations,” the CEO said.

He added that its rivals have already built up the premium beer category in Nigeria and South Africa.

“Now we’re coming with our brands in a market that already exists,” he said.

“We’re just trying to get a fair share, and enlarge that side of the market.”

AB InBev saw a 20% volume growth in Africa, excluding South Africa in its second quarter results, driven by gains in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, the company said.

South Africa, on its own delivered 13.4% revenue growth in the second quarter and 9.7% sales lift in half-year.

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