St. Louis Public Radio News
4:29 am
Thu March 5, 2009

Anheuser-Busch InBev posts high losses

St. Louis, MO – Anheuser-Busch InBev's profits tumbled in the fourth quarter as the company struggles with the debt from its November merger.

The company made $61 million in the fourth quarter of last year, a 95 percent drop from the $1.1 billion it made in the same period in 2007. Overall, the company's sales declined slightly, though the American market showed some gains.

The results are unsurprising but depressing, said industry consultant Tom Pirko, who does some work for A-B InBev. The company's situation is no longer controlled by the drinking and selling of beer.

"What's really going on with A-B has a lot more to do with money and finance," Pirko said. "This company is carrying a huge amount of debt." InBev spent $52 billion to purchase Anheseur-Busch.

The company plans to nearly double its cost-cutting by 2011, to $2.25 billion and sell $7 billion in assets. Pirko says the company may also have to change its contracts with distributors and cut back on advertising spending.