Anheuser-Busch has posted a steady lift in sales and profit for 2007.

The US-based brewer said late yesterday (31 January) that net sales last year registered a 6.2% increase on 2006, coming in at US$16.68bn. Net profit, meanwhile, rose by 7.6% year-on-year to $2.11bn.

The sales lift was credited in part to a 6% climb in US beer net sales, with international beer sales coming in 10% up on 2006. In volume terms, total sales increased by 3.2% to 161.6m barrels.

For the final quarter of 2007, net profit increased markedly, by 12.3% to $214m, with sales up 7.9% on the corresponding quarter a year earlier at $3.69bn. Volume increases in China, Canada and Mexico were hailed for driving sales in the three-month period. While earnings increased in Canada, Mexico and the UK, A-B noted that lower profit results from China and Ireland partially offset these strong performances. In volume terms in the quarter, sales rose by 2.9% to 36.5m barrels.

In 2007, A-B's market share in the US inched up to 48.5% from 48.2%, while on the international stage, increased volume in China, Canada and Mexico was partially offset by lower volume in the UK.

"Anheuser-Busch achieved significant results in 2007," said company president and CEO August Busch. "We achieved strong earnings growth and broadened our beer portfolio to enhance our participation in the high-end segment.

"Our revenue per barrel performance was solid and we managed cost pressures effectively," Busch continued. "International beer profits for the year for both our operations and those of our equity partners increased significantly."

Late last year, A-B said that the commodity cost environment "has not been favourable" and that "mitigating the impact of commodity cost pressures is a high priority". The brewer is set to introduce price increases on the majority of its US beer volume in the coming weeks.