The Brazilian brewer AmBev, now part of the InBev empire, said yesterday that its first quarter net income had fallen 52.7% to R$144.2m.

The company said this decrease was mainly explained by the goodwill amortization of Labatt's transaction, in addition to non-operating expenses related to the closure of Labatt's brewery in Toronto.

AmBev's operating income, however, presented a strong increase, reflected in the 11.9% increase of EBITDA per share, which reached R$26.64.

AmBev's net revenues reached R$3,695.6 million, an increase of 55.9%.
Brazil Operations in Brazil in 1Q05 represented 62.9% of AmBev's consolidated net revenues, totaling R$2,324.4m (+21.8%).

Beer Brazil contributed with R$1,915.4m (+24.9%), whereas the Carbonated Soft Drinks & Non-Alcoholic, Non-Carbonated Beverages (CSD & Nanc) segment reached net revenues of R$388,3m (+13.6%). Malt and By-Products sales generated net revenue of R$20.6m (-37.3%).

The Hispanic Latin America business unit, referred to as HILA, represented 14.9% of the company's consolidated net revenues for the quarter, totalling R$549.8m (+19.0%). AmBev's 54.8% stake in Quinsa contributed with R$364.9m (+19.5%), while the Company's operations in Northern Latin America recorded net revenues of R$184.9m (+17.9%).

AmBev's operation in North America, through Labatt Brewing Company Limited (Labatt), represented 22.2% of consolidated net revenues, totalling R$821.5m.

Labatt's net revenue performance in terms of Canadian dollars went down 0.5%. This drop resulted from an 8.0% decrease in sales volumes, partially offset by the 8.2% increase in revenue per hectoliter. The decrease in sales volumes resulted from a stable performance in the local market, whereas exports to the US were down 36.3%.