InBev profits surge to EUR 905m

24th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 February 2006, BRUSSELS - Belgian-Brazilian brewing giant InBev on Friday posted a 26 percent rise in net profits for 2005, with sagging sales of beer and soft drinks in Europe and North America more than offset by strong growth in the rest of the world.

24 February 2006

BRUSSELS - Belgian-Brazilian brewing giant InBev on Friday posted a 26 percent rise in net profits for 2005, with sagging sales of beer and soft drinks in Europe and North America more than offset by strong growth in the rest of the world.

Net profit rose to EUR 905 million in 2005, up from EUR 719 million the previous year.

The company also announced a reorganisation that would cut 360 jobs in five European countries and the closure of a Czech brewery, adding to job cuts in France and Belgium announced late last year. This will see 149 finance jobs will disappear in Belgium with another 125 going from Germany.

InBev, which produces Stella Artois, will also close two Belgian plants, including the Hoegaarden brewery where it makes a popular light beer of the same name. The company added that it will now promote Belgium's Leffe super premium beer more widely, saying it has already proved successful across several markets

InBev, the world's largest brewer by volume, is becoming more dependent on Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe for growth as it faces a flat market in North America and Europe and reports mixed results from Asia.

Turnover for the fourth quarter of 2005 was euro 3.24 billion, up 7% from euro 2.74 billion in 2004 – a rise boosted by 25% growth in Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Serbia-Montenegro and a 12% surge in Latin America.

European consumers' switch from beer to wine and spirits saw volume growth for the full year fall by 1.4% for the year. "Our performance in Western Europe in 2005 was not good," InBev chief financial officer Felipe Dutra said in a conference call. "We will continue to evaluate any efficiencies that we can make."

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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