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A-B posts 5.3% increase in quarterly sales.

Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter earnings rose 5.3 percent on stronger beer sales, record attendance at its theme parks, and cost-cutting.

For three months ended Dec. 31, the St. Louis-based company earned $176 million, or 68 cents a share. That compares with net earnings of $167 million, or 62 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenues rose 2.7 percent to $3.35 billion, up from $3.26 billion in the fourth quarter of 1993.

Anheuser-Busch also runs the Sea World chain and other theme parks, and is the owner of professional baseball's St, Louis Cardinals.

For the full year, Anheuser-Busch's net earnings were $1.03 billion, or $3.88 a share, up from $595 million, or $2,17 a share, in 1993. Revenues for 1994 totaled $13.7 billion, up from $13.2 billion.

The 1993 results included two one-time expenses, including a restructuring charge of $565 million. Excluding those charges, the company's net earnings in 1993 would have been $981 million, or $3.55 a share.

Beer sales increased to a record 88.5 million barrels in 1994, up from the 87.3 million sold in 1993. The company's domestic market share rose slightly to 45 percent, up from 44.7 percent in 1993.

The company said its results were also helped the introduction of higher-priced, premium beers such as Bud Ice, and the rapid growth of Bud Light, which became the top light beer and No. 2 brand in the United States last year. The top selling beer in the United States is Budweiser.

The company's international beer subsidiary increased its earnings by 50 percent during 1994.

Busch Entertainment's 10 theme parks produced double-digit profit growth with record attendance in 1994, the company said.

Cost-cutting measures, which resulted in the $565 million one-time charge in 1993, led to savings of about $100 million in 1994.

The company's baking subsidiary, Campbell Taggart, reported 50 percent lower earnings for 1994, but the company said it was moving to make that operation more efficient.

Lower earnings also were reported for the St. Louis Cardinals unit, which was hun by the baseball players' strike that cut the season short in August.
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Title Annotation:Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Feb 20, 1995
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