Fortis Bank has cut its investment rating on the Belgian brewing combine, Interbrew, from "buy" to "accumulate" and has reduced its core profits forecasts for the company for 2002 and 2003.

"We have downgraded our recommendation from buy to accumulate as we see no strong rebound in the share price as long as Beck's US business does not improve and as long as there is uncertainty on Beck's integration into Interbrew's LUSA business," said Fortis analyst Nicole Van Putten. "Going forward, we expect more 'one-off noise' to depress organic EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) growth, however necessary this may be as part of Interbrew's re-engineering programme."

Last week, ING Barings downgraded Interbrew from "buy" to "hold" following the publication of the group's below forecast interim profits.