Acquisitions are likely to have boosted sales of Interbrew-owned beer by a third in 2001, with the same effect on profits, according to analysts' predictions.
 
Interbrew's earnings before interest, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) will rise 30% to €1.5 billion, if predictions are right.
 
But in an interview with Reuters published today analysts said they wanted more information on how the acquisition of Beck & Co, which has not yet contributed to eantings, will affect the company going forward.

Nicole van Putten at Fortis said Interbrew ought to explain how it would integrate Beck's into its business and confirm expectations that it would replace Stella Artois with Beck's as its flagship brand.

Analysts believe Beck's will become Interbrew's global priority because Stella Artois while successful in the UK does not have a worldwide reach.

Interbrew paid $1.6 billion for Beck & Co, about 13 times Beck's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), a price the market considered high at the time.

There are some concerns Beck's will not have performed well the year, with a challenging domestic market and poor distribution in the US hurting sales.

Interbrew will announce its results on 13 March and analysts will also be looking for news of its plans in the UK market, where it is expected to announce a change in its distribution arrangements.