Homebound drinkers bought more beer online and at supermarkets, boosting organic sales at Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and cushioning the revenue lost at restaurants and bars amid Covid-19 restrictions.
The world’s largest brewer comfortably topped analysts’ expectations for the third quarter, saying consumers had “quickly adjusted to the new reality” of the pandemic era. Amid those shifts, AB InBev said it boosted market share in most regions.
Investors sent shares up more than 2% in early European trading.
Still, higher costs weighed on profits, and the company said as a defensive move, it wouldn’t pay an interim dividend.
Amid lockdowns and social distancing, rules limiting online alcohol sales have eased in many places. New York in March began temporarily allowing restaurants and bars that serve food to offer delivery or takeout of alcohol, too. Iowa and Ohio recently made their temporary alcohol-to-go measures permanent.