Premium beer helps Anheuser-Busch InBev’s profits, Volkswagen increases share of car market, Polish market not as strong for Jeronimo Martins and slowdowns in solar and smartphone markets hit Wacker Chemie and Amkor Technology respectively.
Family-controlled Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev has seen second quarter earnings rise 3.9% year-on-year to $10.6 billion ($8 billion). Revenue for the first half was $19.8 billion, up 2.7% on the previous year.
Profitability improved as North American drinkers splashed out on more expensive beers, such as Stella Artois. In Brazil, the company’s second biggest market, beer volume dropped 0.4%, but this was an improvement of the first quarter’s 8.2% plunge.
Factors such as lower food inflation and the FIFA Confederations Cup soccer tournament in June, contributed to the improvement in Brazil in the second quarter.
Volkswagen Group announced sales of €98.7 billion for the first half of the year, up 3.5% on the previous year’s figure.
The German carmaker has seen its share of the passenger car market rise year-on-year from 12.4% to 12.7%, with worldwide vehicle sales up 4.9% in the first half to 4.9 million.
The group said it expects revenue for the entire year to exceed 2012 figures, but said due to economic uncertainty its goal for operating profits is to match the prior-year level.
The family-controlled company includes Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Porsche and Bentley among its passenger car brands, as well as commercial vehicle brands such as Scania and MAN.
Portugese family business Jeronimo Martins has seen an 8% year-on-year rise in profit to €90 million in the second quarter, driven by a 14% increase in sales in Poland – its biggest market. Total sales for the company were up 10% to €2.87 billion.
But its performance in Poland looks to be slowing, with quarter-on-quarter sales only up 2% – the weakest performance the company has ever seen in the country.
Despite Portugal’s deepest recession since the 1970s, sales at the company’s supermarket chain Pingo Doce, rose 2% year-on-year to €789 million.
Polysilicon manufacturer Wacker Chemie, controlled by the Wacker family, saw its earnings drop 22% year-on-year in the second quarter to €188 million – a smaller drop than analysts had forecast and up 14% on the first quarter.
The price of polysilicon, which Wacker Chemie supplies to the solar energy sector, nearly halved in 2012 due to an artificially inflated bubble stimulated by government energy efficiency incentive programmes.
Wacker Chemie said the price of polysilicon had now stabilised and it was encouraged by a compromise reached in a trade dispute between the European Union and China over cells and panels. Asia accounted for 39% of group sales in the second quarter.
Amkor announced sales for the second quarter increased 8.7% to $746 million, but expected sales to be flat in the third quarter due to a slowdown in the smartphone market.
The US business, based in Arizona, provides semiconductor packaging and test services to the mobile communications sector.
Chief executive Steve Kelly, who was appointed in May, said in light of the expected flat results for the next quarter the company was dropping its estimate of 2013 capital additions from around $525 million to around $450 million.