Bud brewer reports doubled quarterly profit

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The world's leading brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev doubled its net profit in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the comparable figure last year, despite Brazilian floods and high US unemployment.

Profit attributable to shareholders was $964 million (651 million euros) from January to March, compared to 475 million for the corresponding period in 2010, the company said on Wednesday.

The Belgian-Brazilian giant, the maker of brands such as Budweiser, Leffe and Stella Artois, reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation up 10 percent at 3.4 billion dollars, in line with average forecasts by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

This came despite "high levels of unemployment, especially among core consumers" in the United States and "soft" volumes in Brazil, "driven by the severe floods and the expected market share losses" following price rises at the end of 2010.

Revenue worldwide topped 9.0 billion dollars, giving "organic" growth of 5.6 percent as volumes brewed dropped by 0.4 percent to 91.445 million hectolitres, some 90 percent of which was for AB InBev brands.

The company said the outlook was improving, with US recovery "a question of when and not if" and confidence also high over prospects in Brazil.

© 2011 AFP

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