This excerpt taken from the BUD 6-K filed Nov 12, 2009.
North American total volumes decreased 4.7% in 3Q09, and 1.8% in 9M09.
Shipment volumes in the United States declined 5.1% in 3Q09. We faced tough comparisons following strong Anheuser-Busch volume growth of 2.3% in the same period last year. Domestic US beer selling-day adjusted sales-to-retailers (STRs) decreased 2.8% in 3Q09, and 0.6% in 9M09, primarily due to difficult comparisons: in 3Q08, Anheuser-Busch STRs increased 3.6% driven by the successful roll-out of Bud Light Lime and the timing of pricing actions. Despite these difficult comparisons, we have achieved market share gains year to date.
Brussels, 12 November 2009 6 / 19
The difference between shipment volumes and STRs in 3Q09 results from our efforts to optimize production costs through balanced brewery utilization and to reduce out of pattern transportation costs. In addition, a weak summer industry further led to high inventories at the distributor level.
In Canada, own beer volumes fell 0.7% in 3Q09 in a weak industry environment, and increased 0.1% in 9M09. The Bud Light family achieved 6.8% growth in the quarter driven by the continued momentum of Bud Light Lime, now extended to cans.
Zone gross profit rose 4.7% in 3Q09 driven by revenue growth of 2.6% per hectoliter, and lower CoS of 8.8%, or 4.1% per hectoliter. Revenue per hl reflects continued price improvement from the 2008 increases in the US and the sustained success of premium priced Bud Light Lime, somewhat offset by a general mix-shift in favor of the Busch and Natural brands. Our synergy program drove the reduction in CoS, aided by lower raw material and packaging costs. Operating expenses in the 3Q and 9M fell due to Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) savings, lower transport and fuel costs. Media deflation and savings in non-working money for sales and marketing allowed us to buy more for less, especially for campaigns supporting new product innovations.
Synergy achievement and operational discipline led to an organic EBITDA increase of 15.8% in 3Q09. EBITDA margin improved from 30.2% in 3Q08 on a combined basis to 35.9% in 3Q09. 9M09 EBITDA was 4 603 million USD, representing organic growth of 24.2%. EBITDA margin increased from 30.0% on a combined basis to 38.5% in 9M09.