AmBev today (8 May) posted a 3.1% rise in gross profit for the first quarter with strong performances in Quinsa and North America failing to offset weakness in the Brazilian market.

Gross profit was up to US$3.2m for the period to 31 March, compared with $3.1m for the same period last year.

Net income was up 15.2% to $743.8m from $645.9m year-on-year.

"Brazilian Beer and CSD operations faced volume decline in the quarter due to a slow down in the beverage industry driven by unexpected and unusually cold and wet weather, an early carnival and a sharp increase in core food prices impacting consumer spend," the company said in a statement.

Net sales saw a 4.1% jump from $4.6m from 2007 to $4.8m for the first quarter period of 2008.

The company said it has continued to focus on revenue management best practices and the development of the premium segment in all of its major markets.