Anheuser-Busch Sales Rise

ST. LOUISAnheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., the world's largest brewer, said yesterday sales to retailers rose 1.6 percent in October, rebounding from a decline in September.The maker of Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob beers said it still plans to implement a second round of price increases in the first quarter of 2002, following price increases on selected products in several markets in October, according to Reuters. Last month the company set an initial target of 10 percent earnings per share growth for 2002 and reiterated its expectation of 12 percent growth in 2001.The company said it was on track for those goals, with profits being boosted by a favorable domestic beer pricing environment, its beer brand portfolio, sales execution of the company's wholesaler system, and continuing productivity improvements. The brewer also expects volume to grow by about 2 percent, exceeding industry growth at the low end of a 1 percent to 1.5 percent range.Anheuser-Busch expects a strong 2002. It plans to roll out a flavored alcoholic drink under what is essentially a licensing agreement with privately-held rum maker Bacardi in the first quarter of 2002, which the company said will add to sales volume. The two firms will share pretax profits after costs. But Anheuser-Busch is responsible for production and distribution, so it will report 100 percent of the revenues and costs from the beverage on its profit and loss statement, Baker said. Details of the venture will be unveiled later this month
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