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Beverages

A-B Reports Improved U.S. Beer Volume Trends

Wholesaler sales to retailers up 2.7%

ST. LOUIS -- Anheuser-Busch Inc., the U.S. beer subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., has reported fourth-quarter 2005 wholesaler sales to retailers in the United States increased by 2.7% (selling day adjusted) over fourth-quarter 2004, said President August A. Busch IV. For the full year, wholesaler sales-to-retailers increased 0.2% (selling day adjusted) compared with 2004.

The company's initiatives to enhance beer volume and market share growth are working and our recent volume results have been encouraging, said Busch. Wholesaler sales-to-retailers [image-nocss] have increased 1.8% since Labor Day. Also, during the second half of 2005 the company's market share has increased in supermarkets, according to IRI data and wholesaler sales-to-retailers increased 0.8% (selling day adjusted) over the comparable 2004 period.

Fourth-quarter 2005 U.S. beer shipments to wholesalers increased 0.8% over fourth-quarter 2004. For the full-year, 2005 beer shipments by Anheuser-Busch to wholesalers were 101.1 million barrels, a 1.8% decrease compared with 2004 as the company reduced wholesaler inventories below 2004 year-end levels.

We are pleased with the progress of our current initiatives and believe Anheuser-Busch is positioned for growth in volume and profits in 2006, said Busch.

Anheuser-Busch Cos., Inc. will announce worldwide beer volume and consolidated earnings results for the fourth-quarter and full-year 2005 on Feb. 1, 2006, the company said.

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