Global brewer Anheuser Busch (AB) InBev has recorded a 4.7% increase in overall revenue in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, but in two of the company’s six core regions, the US and Brazil, revenue declined.

In the US, revenues were linked to sales-to-wholesalers which declined by 4.4% and consequently revenue declined by 2.5%. Sales-to-retailers also decreased by 2.3%, which was attributed to colder than average temperatures. The brewer estimates its market share fell 50 basis points as a result of industry segment mix shift.

The company’s value brands underperformed because of tough comparable after last year’s Busch Super Bowl advertising campaign and pre-tax earnings declined 5% with a margin contraction of 102 basis points to 39.0%.

However, AB InBev’s US business reported a 1.9% increase in revenue per hectolitre driven by revenue management initiatives and positive brand mix, as well as acceleration in above premium brands led by Michelob Ultra and smaller decline in market share for Budweiser and Bud light compared with Q1 2017.

The first quarter of 2018 was expected to be a difficult period for the company’s Brazil business. Revenue declined by 1.8%, beer volumes decreased by 8.1% and non-beer volumes fell by 19.4% as a result of an earlier Carnival period, poor weather and tough comparable on Q1 2017.

This was partially offset by net revenue per hectolitre improvement resulting from the brewer’s revenue management initiative introduced in the third quarter of 2017.

The company’s Colombia business recorded 12.1% revenue growth and a 4.4% rise in revenue per hectolitre in Q1 as a result of favourable brand mix and prior year revenue management initiatives.

Volumes grew by 7.3% with 8.3% increase in beer volumes and 1.5% increase for non-beer products. Colombian beer brand Aguila experienced 50% growth linked with FIFA World Cup activations.

AB InBev reported 4.4% revenue growth, 1.6% volume increase and 2.7% rise in revenue per hectolitre in China in the first quarter of 2018, which the compnay attributed to Chinese New Year celebrations. Corona performed particularly well becoming the number one imported beer in the country.

The brewer’s South African business experienced mid-single digit revenue growth driven by an increase in revenue per hectolitre and low-single digit volume declines. Its global brand portfolio grew by more than 200% in Q1 and gained 600 basis points of market share in the premium segment.

AB InBev’s total revenue increased from $12.92bn in Q1 2017 to $13.07bn in Q1 2018. Revenue per hectolitre grew by 4.9% and on a constant geographic basis revenue per hectolitre increased by 5.3%.

The brewer’s cost of sales increased by 1.3% in total, 1.5% per hectolitre and 2.4% on a constant geographic basis. Gross profit increased by 6.9% from $7.69bn in Q1 2017 to $8.09bn in Q1 2018.

AB InBev’s management statement said: “In 1Q18, we saw revenue growth of 4.7%, with own beer volumes growing by 0.5%. Global revenue growth was driven by good volume performances in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina, further enhanced by our revenue management and premiumisation initiatives around the world.

“Our global brands continued to deliver solid results, with revenue growth of 7.9% globally and 12.2% outside of their respective home markets. These brands typically command a premium and contribute higher margins when sold outside of their home markets. Budweiser revenues declined by 1.3% due primarily to a soft performance in the US. However, excluding the US, Budweiser saw growth of 2.5% driven by Brazil, Paraguay, India and South Korea. Stella Artois delivered double-digit top-line growth, led by Argentina, the UK and the US. Corona continued to lead the way, with revenues up by 25.1% and by 40.3% outside of Mexico, fuelled by strong results from a diverse set of markets. “