InBev earnings slump, slashes dividend

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The world's biggest brewer, AB InBev, reported Thursday a sharp fall in third quarter earnings and slashed its dividend as it paid down debt on its acquisition of rival SAB Miller.

Net profit for the three months to September slumped 37 percent from a year earlier to $1.61 billion while sales dropped to $13.28 billion from $14.74 billion.

The company cut the dividend by half to 0.80 euros ($0.91) and put the full-year payout at 1.80 euros, also down by half.

"We expect dividends to be a growing flow over time starting from the rebased level, although growth in the short term is expected to be modest given the importance of deleveraging," the company said in a statement.

Any dividend gains, moreover, are expected to be "modest," it added.

The announcements hit the share price badly, with InBev down nearly nine percent in Brussels trade.

The company said the integration of SAB Miller, which it acquired in a deal worth nearly $80 billion in 2016, was going well, producing synergies and cost savings worth $229 million in the third quarter.

© 2018 AFP

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