US brewing giant, Anheuser-Busch, has reported an 8.9% rise in profits for the fourth quarter to $228 million, against $209 million the year before. Turnover was up by 1.7% to $2.89 million.

The company said beer volumes in the US had risen only marginally to 22.6 million barrels but revenue per barrel in the domestic market was up by 2.6%. "Our consistent increases in revenue per barrel over the past three years reflect the company's sharp focus on beer profit-margin growth and earnings," said August A. Busch III, chairman and president.

For the full year, net income rose to $1.71 billion, against $1.55 billion last year, while sales were up by 3.3% from $12.5 billion in 2000 to $12.91 billion in 2001.