AmBev, the Brazil-based unit of brewing giant InBev, has seen earnings rise across its business for the first quarter of the year.

The brewer today (11 May) reported a 17.7% leap in EBITDA for the three-month period to BRL1.8bn (US$869.6m) with profits up from its operations in Brazil, Canada and at its Quinsa unit in the Southern Cone of South America. Group revenues rose 7.4% to BRL4bn.

AmBev said it had posted a set of "solid results" with beer volumes up in Brazil and Canada and soft drinks sales up from its Quinsa business, which runs operations in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Commenting on AmBev's performance in Brazil, Luiz Fernando Edmond, the company's Latin America general officer, said: "We had an encouraging first quarter. We will keep focusing to assure we capture the opportunities, such as the World Cup and elections, while keeping the threats under control, such as the commodities hike that will affect us in the next quarters."

AmBev said earnings in Canada rose on the back of rising volumes and a series of cost-cutting initiatives. "Canada continues showing an extremely competitive scenario in 2006. However, we continue to maintain our strategy and focus on costs, which has been ensuring such high profitability levels," said Miguel Patricio, North America general officer.