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Hong Kong-listed Budweiser Brewing Co APAC Ltd saw both its top and bottom lines surge in 2021 mainly due to success of its premium beer brands, the company's CEO and Co-Chair Jan Craps said on Thursday, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to the group's premiumization strategy and strong market demand, especially from China, its largest market, Budweiser APAC's net profit soared 84.8 percent on a yearly basis to $980 million last year, while its sales revenue grew by 14.9 percent year-on-year to $6.79 billion, according to the company's annual results.
The group's revenue jumped 18 percent year-on-year in China in 2021, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Both its super premium and premium portfolios grew by double digits last year, said Craps.
"With our ongoing premiumization moves, we will offer more multi-category premium options for diverse consumers and various consumption scenarios in the country," he said, adding that the company delivered a strong performance in China in the fourth quarter of 2021, with volumes, revenue and market share all growing significantly and landing above pre-pandemic levels.
Craps said innovation plays a critical role in seeding future category growth, allowing the company to engage with consumers seeking differentiated and premium experiences across diverse occasions. One example of where this approach reached a significant scale in 2021 is Budweiser Supreme, which was developed with a clear focus on premium Chinese restaurants and celebratory meal occasions.
In terms of digitization, as of December 2021, more than 500,000 customers have adopted the trade marketing investment and digital engagement module of Budweiser APAC's BEES -- its proprietary business-to-business (B2B) platform -- to further enhance strength in earnings.
Craps said that the transactional functionality of BEES has been successfully piloted and is now used by approximately 10,000 small and medium-sized enterprise retailers in the two initial pilot cities within China.
"BEES is set to roll out in 60 new cities in 2022 as we continue to develop digital solutions for our wholesaler partners and their customers to increase sales, accelerate geographic expansion, improve return on investment and provide more services," he added.
Source: China Daily/ Zhong Nan
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