AmBev, the division of Anheuser-Busch InBev, has reported a 5.8% increase in third quarter profits, boosted by strong demand for beer in Brazil and prices increases.

Net income for the period ended 30 September reached BRL1.23bn (US$716m) from BRL1.16bn in the previous year, the company reported yesterday (12 November).

Net sales grew 9.8%, driven by volume growth and price increases across its regions, to reach BRL5.41bn.

Organic volume growth of 4.7% in the period was driven by a 9.5% volume growth in Brazil, partly offset by a 5.6% and 4.5% decline in South Latin America and Hila-Ex volumes, respectively.

Normalised EBITDA reached BRL2.37bn in the quarter, representing organic growth of 11%.

Cost of goods sold per hectolitre increased by 1.4% as inflation was partly offset in the quarter by expected gains on the company's hedges, lower commodity prices for PET and corn and productivity initiatives.

For the year-to-date, net income increased 16.5% to reach BRL3.43bn, while net sales were up 14.4% to BRL14.35bn.

Earlier this year, AmBev was handed a BRL352m fine by Brazil's antitrust authority following an investigation into allegations that the company had engaged in illegal selling practices. AmBev said it planned to appeal.

For an analysis of Anheuser-Busch InBev third quarter results, click here