BELGIUM: InBev profit slips in Q3
InBev has said that net profit fell 14% in the third quarter of 2008, with a slowdown in Russia and the UK putting pressure on beer volumes.
InBev said today (6 November) that net earnings slipped to EUR447m (US$575m) in the three months ended 30 September, down from EUR519m in the same period last year.
The Belgium-based brewer, which owns Stella Artois and Beck's, blamed the fall on EUR77m in one-off restructuring charges, mainly related to Western Europe.
It remained confident about its market position in light of worsening economic conditions. Analysts said the results were slightly ahead of expectations.
Group revenue rose by 7.7% to EUR3.9bn, largely thanks to a near-6% rise in revenue per hectolitre.
Volume sales increased by 1.9%, with InBev's own beer volumes up by just 0.8% for the period. InBev said it had suffered a 5.3% decline in the UK, reflecting a general beer market malaise in the country, and a 10.5% drop in Russia, due to poor weather and a consumer shift to lower value brands.
High single-digit volume growth in Belgium and Germany, as well as a double-digit rise in Argentina, helped to offset the problems. Beer volumes in the US also crept up 0.5%.
InBev re-iterated that it remained confident of completing its US$52bn takeover of Anheuser-Busch by the end of the year.
Revenue for the first nine months of 2008 rose by 5.7% to EUR10.85bn, with net profit slightly ahead at EUR1.84bn, compared to EUR1.8bn in 2007.
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