Great Northern local powerhouse in AB InBev results

Brewing giant ABInBev, owner of Carlton & United Breweries, has released its Half Year 2018 results showing Great Northern continues to drive the business locally.

“Australia continues to achieve strong commercial gains with revenue growing by mid-single digits during the quarter. This was driven by Great Northern, which remains a key engine of growth within the easy drinking lager segment,” the company reported.

Australian Brews News understands retail scan data shows the Great Northern brand grew by over $250-million on a MAT basis for the year, representing more than 30 per cent of industry value growth. The brand has grown by 240 per cent over the last two years. This growth has offset declines in Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught and significant declines in Crown Lager.

International and craft continued to perform well for the company.

“The High End Company continues to be a strong contributor to top-line growth, led by all three of our global brands. We are working to further accelerate our global brand portfolio and this quarter we launched Corona Ligera, a premium mid-strength version of Corona that supports our low-alcohol beer initiatives.”

“Additionally, Budweiser was brewed locally for the first time and played a key role in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia activations. Our craft portfolio continues to perform well with double-digit gains on the back of recent acquisitions.”

Australian Brews News understand that Pirate Life and Yak Ales have experienced strong growth over the year. Pirate Life – which prior to being purchased by CUB sold 80 per cent of its product in package – is understood to have experienced a strong growth in tap sales under its new owner on the back of CUB’s contract arrangements.

Despite the growth of Great Northern, ABInBev revenue growth slowed over the quarter. In Q1 the company reported its Australian operations grew by “high single-digits”, compared to “mid single-digits” this quarter.

ABInBev also announced a structural reorganisation that will see its geographic structure fall from nine management zones to six. Asia Pacific South, which includes Australia, will merge with Asia Pacific North to create APAC Zone with headquarters in Shanghai. Jan Craps, Carlton & United Breweries’ CEO is currently Zone President Asia Pacific South based in Melbourne. He will become Zone President for APAC taking up the new position on 1 January 2019, with a replacement for the Australian operations announced in the next month.

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