100 MILLION BARRELS!

The numbers are in, and it is surprising to no one, at
least not the informed readers of BBD, that
ANHEUSER-BUSCH broke the psychological barrier of 100
MILLION BARRELS of beer worldwide in 2001, much more
than any other brewer.

US SHIPMENTS UP 1.2% Domestic beer shipments to
wholesalers grew to 99.5 million barrels in 2001, up
1.2 million barrels or 1.2 percent over 2000, A-B CEO
Pat Stokes said.

Stokes said that Bud Light, which became the
top-selling beer in the United States last year,
continued its strong sales performance. Bud sales
followed, but no word yet on the performance or lack
thereof on that brand.

SALES-TO-RETAILERS GREW 1.8% IN 2002, 5% IN Q4. Due
to lower distributor inventories, sales to retailers
looks even better with 1.8% growth in 2001 and a
whopping 5% in Q4 (we had an extra selling day and
warmer weather. BTW, our free 2002 comparative sell
day calendars are in for anybody interested). A-B
said in a statement that it experienced “strong sales
over the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period.”

LOWER DISTRIB INVENTORIES IN Q4. Still, A-B Q4 beer
shipments grew only 0.3% as the company cut wholesaler
inventories to levels below last year, in an effort to
enhance product freshness and “system economics,” the
company said.

EPS GROWTH TO SLOW, STILL DOUBLE DIGIT. A-B said it
expects earnings per share to grow 10 percent for
2002, compared to 12% in 2001. But it doesn’t expect
to dip below Wall Street’s hard deck of single digit
growth.