Anheuser-Busch Cos., the nationâ€™s largest brewer, notched higher first-quarter sales and earnings as its high-end import brands and international operations drove growth. But the companyâ€™s core domestic brands struggled to hang onto sales and market share, and earnings missed analystsâ€™ consensus expectations.
Results were disappointing because beer shipments in the U.S. grew half a percentage point, and would have fallen 0.7 % by volume if not for the infusion of new brands such as Stella Artois and Bass Pale Ale. A-B started importing those beers and 17 other European brews from Belgian brewer InBev on Feb. 1.
[Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch]