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BRAZIL: AmBev credits premium segment for profit lift

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AmBev has reported a rise in its third quarter net profit helped by strong results from the premium segment.

The Latin American unit of global brewer InBev posted a lift in net profit to BRL589.8m (US$337m) up from BRL486.1m ($227.9m) for the same time the previous year.

Sales rose to BRL4.64bn from BRL4.34bn and volumes were up 3.6% compared to last year, owing to strong growth in markets such as Brazil and Quinsa.

Ambev said its results were down to focused marketing campaigns and well-executed proprietary events, which helped to build its brands as well as a thriving premium segment.

The company added that the cost of raw materials was offset "by the positive impact of our efficiency initiatives and commodity and currency hedges" as well as "good cost saving results in North America".

Yesterday, AmBev told just-drinks that it is looking to acquire the Cintra beer brand from its rival in Brazil.

In March, AmBev agreed to buy Cintra's two breweries in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo for $150m. The deal did not include the Cintra brand nor the brewer's distribution network, with AmBev being granted the option to buy those assets at a later date.

The purchase of the Cintra brand will cost AmBev a pre-agreed amount of $10m. When asked about Cintra's distribution network, a spokesperson for AmBev said: "Everything will continue as it is now until the process is finished." No exact date was given for the closure of the transaction.

Cintra accounts for around 1.12% market share in Brazil, with AmBev holding about 68%.


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