Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) reported second-quarter results on July 26. The global beverage titan saw a return to volume growth -- aided by its global sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup -- and higher profits driven by strong sales of its premium beers.

Anheuser-Busch InBev results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q2 2018

Q2 2017

Year-Over-Year Change

Revenue

$14.014 billion

$14.182 billion

(1.2%)

Normalized profit

$2.163 billion

$1.872 billion

15.5%

Normalized EPS

$1.10

$0.95

15.8%

Data source: Anheuser-Busch InBev Q2 2018 earnings release. YOY percentage shown here does not normalize for currency changes and the impact of acquisitions and divestitures.

What happened with Anheuser-Busch InBev this quarter?

Total volumes grew 0.8%, boosted by AB InBev's sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup. AB InBev's own beer volumes increased 0.9%, non-beer volumes inched up 0.5%, and third-party products rose 2%.

A soccer ball sits between two pints of beer.

Apparently, soccer and beer go very well together. (Image Source: Getty Images)

Revenue for AB InBev's three global brands -- Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois -- rose 10.1% overall and by 16.7% outside of their home markets. Corona once again led the way, with sales jumping 21.9%, including 42.6% growth outside of its home market of Mexico. Stella Artois revenue grew 9%, and Budweiser revenue increased 4.1%, despite a decline in the U.S.

In all, AB InBev's organic revenue growth -- which adjusts for currency fluctuations as well as acquisition- and divestiture-related items -- rose 4.7%. Moreover, revenue per hectoliter increased 4.5%, as the company continues to promote its more expensive, and higher-margin, brands as part of its "premiumization" strategy.

These efforts -- combined with an additional $199 million in cost savings related to its merger with SABMiller that AB InBev captured in the second quarter -- helped EBITDA margin improve 85 basis points to 39.7%. In turn, normalized EBITDA, which excludes non-recurring items and discontinued operations rose 7% to $5.6 billion.

Looking forward

Anheuser-Busch InBev said that revenue and EBITDA growth should accelerate in the second half of fiscal 2018. The company also expects to capture an additional $700 million in cost synergies related to its merger with SAB by October 2020.

To further streamline its operations, AB InBev announced plans to reduce its geographic segments to six from nine. The company will also place its marketing team and ZX Ventures, its venture capital arm developing new products and businesses, under common leadership to spur innovation. Additionally, AB InBev created new senior leadership positions to oversee its non-alcoholic beverages and company-owned retail businesses. The changes go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. 

"We remain focused on delivering top-line growth, creating new occasions, and expanding the beer category," CEO Carlos Alves de Brito said during a conference call with analysts. "We believe that, by implementing these changes, we'll be better equipped to accelerate growth and be more responsive to our consumers and customers to bring them an even better experience."

Joe Tenebruso has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Anheuser-Busch InBev NV. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.