InBev has said that a strong performance in the Americas and Eastern Europe has more than offset the challenging conditions in Western Europe, helping it report first half profit attributable to InBev equity holders of €397m versus €205m in the same period a year before.

Organic beer volume growth was 5.5%, more than twice the industry average, leading to total volumes of 104,188m hl.

Weak trading conditions in Western Europe (organic volume -3.7% year-on-year) as well as mixed volume performances in North America (organic volume -2.3%) and Asia Pacific (organic volume +1.4%) were offset by a strong performance in Central & South America (beer +12.9%) and in Russia/Ukraine (beer +14.7%); the latter drove organic beer volume growth in Central & Eastern Europe by +8.1%.

EBITDA totalled €1,363m, up 20.8% on an organic basis. 

Central & South America delivered EBITDA of €656m, a leap of 49%, primarily through significantly better top-line performance in terms of volumes and pricing. However, in Western Europe, EBITDA came in at €325m, down 7.1%, reflecting the lower sales volumes which could not be fully offset through savings initiatives, InBev said.

Central & Eastern Europe generated EBITDA of €132m, up 9.6% as a result of higher sales volumes and good cost management, InBev added.

Looking forward, the company said in a statement: "Despite challenging trading conditions in some markets, operational performance in the first half was in line with our plan to deliver solid volume and EBITDA performance for the year 2005.  InBev continues to be well-positioned to achieve its target EBITDA margin of 30% by 2007."