AmBev, the subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, has reported a 6.5% net sales rise for 2008, as price increases helped to offset beer volume decline in the group's native Brazil.

AmBev said yesterday (4 March) that net sales rose to R$20.9bn (US$8.7bn) for the 12 months of 2008, up from R$19.6bn for 2007. Net income for the year rose by 8.6%, to more than R$3bn, despite a fourth quarter decline, relating to currency charges.

Beer volumes rose by 3% for the year, although were hit by a 0.9% decline in the fourth quarter, echoing a fourth quarter slowdown also reported by other international brewers.

AmBev said that a strong performance from its Quinsa and North America businesses helped to offset low single-digit beer and soft drinks volume declines in its native Brazil.

Earlier this week, AmBev confirmed to just-drinks that it would cut 146 jobs in Sao Paulo, Brazil, by closing its factory in Mogi Mirim and shifting production to its other plants in Jacareí, Guarulhos and Jaguariúna.