Ambev S.A. (NYSE:ABEV) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jul 30, 2020 • 11:00 am ET


Ambev S.A. (NYSE:ABEV) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Jean Jereissati

the countries in which we operate, we ended the quarter better than we started. COVID-19 brought new challenges to our business and the ecosystem of our industry. Everybody is reinventing themselves. Consumers are changing their habits, demanding more convenience and new ways of entertainment.

And the on-trade channel is rethinking itself. The good news is that we have been setting up the company to respond quickly to these changes, and we are starting to see the benefits of this new mindset and strategy. From April to June, we saw a sequential improvement in consolidated volumes. April volumes declined 27% year over year, May declined 7%, and June actually grew 5%. Despite this positive trend, there is still plenty of uncertainty in the market.

Things can change rather quickly, and profitability was and should continue to be a challenge, as our great socializing occasions are and will continue to be impacted moving forward. Restrictions are still very fluid and macro and currencies remain volatile. In terms of openings, Bolivia, Dominican Republic and Panama were hit the hardest. These countries started the quarter with more severe restrictions on vehicle circulation and alcohol sales and adopting an on- and off-trade opening hours. As the quarter progressed, such restrictions were gradually eased but there are still some in place as we speak.

Chile and Paraguay suffered less because our volumes are heavily weighted toward the Austria channel. Nonetheless, a challenging macro environment has led to a slower recovery in Argentina. In Brazil, where the on-trade channel played an important role, restrictions varied between regions with big cities and urban centers being more affected. We saw a gradual improvement as part of the on-trade start to adapt, operating with deliveries and takeaways, and cities started to reopen.

These small mom-and-pops stores gained relevance as customers choose for local consumption to avoid longer time journeys, partially offsetting the impact on the on-trade channel. Canada, despite an industry decline, our volumes benefited from the strong performance of our premium core plus and beyond beer portfolio. As I have mentioned before, we have a strategy built on three pillars. First, we really want to work as an ecosystem. We are reframing our purpose of bringing people together for a better world, and we have mobilized ourselves by donating our capabilities, competencies in the type of our teams to help solving urgent social challenges.

We were recognized by the United Nations with the Solidarity Award. This award is given to impactful work that individuals and organizations have been taking to support communities as we navigate the pandemic. All this because we have been able to move fast to respond to these social needs. Given a more creative and agile mindset, we could answer the demands of the communities we are part of. In Brazil, we also took part of Movimento Nos, a coalition of end consumer goods companies that will help approximately 300,000 POCs to reopen with a total of BRL370 million, impacting indirectly more than 3 million people.