• Brazil drives sales, operating profits in Q3
  • Net profits leap
  • Labatt loses share in Canada 
Brazil drives AmBevs Q3 beer sales

Brazil drives AmBev's Q3 beer sales

AmBev has reported a strong rise in beer sales and a jump in profits in the third quarter of 2010, driven by consumer demand in its native Brazil.

AmBev's net sales, including both beer and soft drinks, rose by 10.5% for the three months to the end of September, to BRL5.98bn (US$3.5bn). Profits attributable to AmBev shareholders reached BRL1.8bn, up by 47.5% on the same period of 2009, the brewer said today (3 November).

Operating profits increased by almost 12% for the period, to BRL2.3bn, largely due to the strong sales performance. Consumer demand for the group's beers and soft drinks in Brazil showed little sign of abating during the quarter, with beer volume sales up by 12.5% and soft drinks up by 10.5%. Company-wide volume sales rose by 8% for the quarter.

AmBev's strong performance helped parent firm Anheuser-Busch InBev to offset sluggish consumer demand in Europe and North America during the quarter.

“We are glad with the results achieved this quarter, not only because of the continued strong performance in Brazil, but also given the improvements observed in other important markets," said AmBev's CEO, João Castro Neves. "Going forward, we will remain focused on developing top-line and on continuing to find savings," he said.

Canada, where AmBev owns Labatt, was the weak link in the quarterly results. Labatt lost market share as volume sales fell by 5.4% for the three months in a market that shrank by 2.4%. The brewer's net sales fell by 2% for the quarter.

For the first nine months of 2010, AmBev has increased net sales by 8.3% to BRL17.78bn, with volumes up by 8.7%. Profit attributable to shareholders has risen by 27% to BRL5.06bn, with operating profits up by 8% on the same period of 2009.