AB InBev announced today to cut its proposed dividend of EUR 1.00 per share in half to EUR 0.50 per share. The move will save the company more than USD 1 billion.
“Given the uncertainty, volatility and continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, AB InBev has determined that it would be prudent and in the best interests of the Company to reduce the amount of the final 2019 dividend,” the media release states. “This decision is consistent with the Company’s financial discipline, deleveraging commitments and other actions taken to navigate this environment,” the statement reasons.
Last month, AB InBev already scrapped their outlook for 2020. “Given the uncertainty, volatility and fast-moving developments of the pandemic in the markets in which AB InBev operates, the company is withdrawing that 2020 outlook in its entirety because of the impact of COVID-19,” AB InBev said at that time (inside.beer, 27.3.2020).
The Company will also reschedule the ordinary and extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to 3 June 2020. All resolutions proposed for the meeting originally scheduled for 29 April 2020 will be set on the agenda of the Rescheduled Meeting, except that the statutory annual accounts that will be presented for approval will reflect the interim dividend of EUR 0.80 per share that was paid in November 2019, plus the revised proposed final dividend of EUR 0.50 per share.
Carlos Brito, Chief Executive Officer, stated: “COVID-19 is changing everyone’s lives in unprecedented ways. However, it has not changed who we are or what we stand for at AB InBev. Our purpose remains more relevant than ever: bringing people together for a better world. Today, for us it means joining efforts to prioritize each other’s health and safety, to help our communities where we can and to support our operations. I am proud to see our colleagues around the world working tirelessly with our partners, retailers, bars, pubs and restaurants to support their long-term business success, and finding new ways to connect with our consumers. The commitment, ingenuity and sense of urgency of our people will continue to take us forward.”
The changes to the company’s leadership team announced on 6 February 2020 will continue to be effective as of 29 April 2020 (inside.beer, 6.2.2020).