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BELGIUM: Interbrew figures in line with trends

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Interbrew, the Belgium-based global brewer, today announced figures showing solid organic growth for the first nine months of 2003. Compared to nine-month trading figures from 2002, organic volume growth was up 5.7% on net turnover of 4.3%, despite negative currency impact.

The excellent summer weather in Europe helped fuel organic growth throughout the region. Most notably, Stella Artois volumes were up by 13.8% in the UK thanks to the summer heat.

Despite a sluggish beer market in the US, sales improved in the third quarter to slow the downward trend.

Eastern Europe posted a strong performance. In Russia, volumes were up organically 26.4%, compared to industry growth of 2.7%. The company has also taken the lead in the PET segment of the Central European beer market, due in part to the success of its new plastic packaging.

Interbrew expects that, on a constant currency basis, it will achieve organic net turnover and operating profit growth for 2003 broadly in line with what it has achieved for the first nine months of the year.

The company also expects earnings per share for 2003 to be only slightly lower than 2002's pre-restructuring earnings per share of €1.51, assuming exchange rates remain at current levels.


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Anheuser-Busch InBev

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