Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewing group, reported third-quarter net income of $622m, up some 11% from $558.6m in the corresponding period last year. The company attributed the improvement to strong domestic pricing and volume growth.

Turnover rose by 4.8% from $4.08 billion to $4.27 billion, with net sales, excluding excise taxes, rising by 5.2% from $3.52 billion to $3.71 billion. The third quarter results included a $6.5m charge in respect of the restructuring programme at the Mexican brewer, Grupo Modelo, in which A-B owns a 50% stake.

Anheuser-Busch said that domestic revenue per barrel was up 3% in the third quarter as a result of the favourable domestic pricing environment and the introduction of the RTD brand, Bacardi Silver. Domestic volume sales to wholesalers increased by 2.6% in the third quarter.

The group confirmed its earlier full-year earnings-per-share growth target of 14% and also set an EPS growth target of 12% for 2003.