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Red Bull Owners’ Payout Rises as Cost Cuts Boost Net Income

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Red Bull Owners’ Payout Rises as Cost Cuts Boost Net Income

  • Energy drink maker’s profit surged by more than a third
  • Internal restructuring cut staff and other expenses in 2018
Cans of Red Bull GmbH energy drink sit on display inside a supermarket in Redhill.

Cans of Red Bull GmbH energy drink sit on display inside a supermarket in Redhill.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Cans of Red Bull GmbH energy drink sit on display inside a supermarket in Redhill.
Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Red Bull GmbH, the energy drink maker that sponsors extreme sports, raised the annual payout to owners Dietrich Mateschitz and the Yoovidhya family by more than a third after a revamp in the holding company boosted profit.

Red Bull’s net income rose 36% last year to 741.2 million euros ($821 million) after revenue increased and costs for staff and marketing declined sharply, according to a filing to the Austrian company register. The usual run rate of half the profit, or 370.6 million euros, will be distributed to the holders, which received an extra dividend of 500 million euros two years ago.

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Cans of Red Bull GmbH energy drink

Red Bull, which is based in Fuschl, Austria, and whose subsidiaries around the world handle local marketing and distribution of the beverage, increased revenue 4.4% to 3.58 billion euros.

The holding company’s payroll shrank to an average 160 employees in 2018, from 271 a year earlier, according to the document. That was due to restructurings within the group, according to the company, which declined to elaborate.

Thai entrepreneur and sometime duck farmer Chaleo Yoovidhya teamed up with Mateschitz in 1987 after the Austrian marketing whiz discovered the energy drink sold by Chaleo’s firm while looking to counteract jet lag on a business trip.

It’s proved a popular tonic. About 7 billion cans were sold in 2018, according to the company’s website, making its owners among the wealthiest people on the planet. Chaleo’s heirs control a $25 billion fortune and Mateschitz is Austria’s richest person with an $11.5 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The energy drinks sector has created a fountain of wealth. The founders of Monster Beverage Corp., Rockstar and the chairman of rival Carabao Group Pcl also have become billionaires as the industry has boomed.

— With assistance by Matthias Wabl