InBev, the world's largest brewer by volume, posted an 11.7% rise in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the third quarter, on the back on volume growth of 6.8%.

EBITDA for the quarter reached €966m, not only 11.7% up year-on-year but well ahead of analysts' forecasts which had averaged around €924m. Revenue grew by 8.4% for the quarter and by 7.3% for the nine months on an organic basis.

InBev reported organic year-on-year beer volume growth of 6.8% for the third quarter of 2005, and 6.0% for the first nine months of 2005. Volume growth of InBev's flagship beer brands was 12% for both the quarter and the nine-month period, the company said.

Normalised profit attributable to InBev equity holders was put at €325m but the company did not give a comparative figures from Interbrew and AmBev for the 2004 period. InBev was formed by the merger of the two companies in August 2004.

"These third-quarter results and the progress we have made executing our strategy and operating initiatives are encouraging," said InBev's CEO John Brock. "Twelve
months after creating this new company, we have been successful in rolling out the new culture, together with a new compensation system for senior management. Overall, we remain well positioned to achieve our full-year 30% EBITDA margin target by 2007."

InBev said that in spite of challenging trading conditions in both Canada and the US in the third quarter of 2005, it recorded volume growth of 2.2% in North America. Latin American volumes rose by 4.7% for the quarter, but volumes in Western Europe increased by just 0.4%. However, the company recorded growth of 12.3% in Eastern and Central Europe, while volumes were 10.8% ahead in the Asia Pacific region.