Belfast Telegraph

Profits at Budweiser brewer AB InBev hit by Brazil downturn

Economic strife in Brazil has knocked third-quarter profits for Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), putting a dampener on the brewer's first set of results since completing its £79 billion takeover of SABMiller last month.

The owner of more than 200 beer brands, including Corona, Stella Artois and Budweiser, said earnings fell 2% to four billion dollars (£3.2 billion), versus analyst expectations for 4.4% growth.

AB InBev was hardest hit by a downturn in Brazil, where beer volumes dropped 4.1 % as the country suffers its worst recession in years.

Across Europe, the brewer said beer volumes were down 2.6% in the quarter, though the growth of premium brands helped net revenue rise 3.1%.

The UK business saw single-digit volume growth, driven by sales of Budweiser and Corona, AB InBev said.

Once numbers were stripped of Brazil's results, earnings were up 6.6%.

The Brazilian downturn has forced the company to cut its revenue forecasts, which are now only expected to grow in line with inflation.

The news sent the brewer's Brussels-listed shares down more than 3.5% in early trading.

It comes just weeks since shareholders gave the green light to the company's mega-deal to acquire British brewer SABMiller - the owner of brands including Peroni and Foster's - which has ushered in a brewing giant in control of nearly a third of the global beer market.

However, AB InBev's latest results only account for the period preceding the takeover.

AB InBev said: "We extend a warm welcome to our new colleagues around the world and look forward to working with them to ensure a smooth integration and exciting long-term growth."