• Q1 net profits slide 23.6% to US$1.42bn
  • Net sales up 8.9% to $10.6bn
  • Operating profits rise 10.8% to $3.88bn
  • Beer volumes up 4.5% to 93.7m hectolitres 
The brewers bottom line was affected by higher costs in the first quarter

The brewer's bottom line was affected by higher costs in the first quarter

Anheuser-Busch InBev has reported a lift in first-quarter sales, but rising finance costs and currency swings dragged down net profits. 

The Belgium headquartered group said today (7 May) that net profits in the three months to the end of March fell by 23.6% to US1.42bn. Sales in the three months rose by 8.9% to $10.6bn. 

Operating profits in the period climbed by 10.8% to $3.88bn. 

A-B InBev's own group beer volumes increased by 4.5% to 93.7m hectolitres, the company said.

The Budweiser brewer attributed the net profits slide to a tough comparable on finance costs, which came in at $866m, compared to $255m in last year's Q1. “Negative currency results” and hedging costs accounted for the rise, the group said.

In the US, Q1 sales to wholesalers grew by 2.1%, however sales to retailers fell by 2.6% due to “challenging winter weather” and a late Easter. 

Volumes in Mexico rose slightly, by 0.9%, while beer volumes in Brazil increased by 10.9% helped by good summer weather and a later Carnival.

In China, volumes climbed by 9.4% in the quarter, helped by a strong New Year campaign, A-B InBev said.

“We are pleased with the results for the first quarter, which provide a solid foundation for the rest of the year,” the company noted.

Shares in A-B InBev are this morning trading up 0.18% in Brussels at EUR76.75

To read the company's full statement, click here.

To read a breakdown of the company's results by region, click here

To read analysis of the results, click here 

To read coverage of an analysts' conference call with Carlos Brito, click here