AB InBev Further Lifts SABMiller Cost Savings Target as 3Q Profit Climbs

By Adria Calatayud Features Dow Jones Newswires

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (ABI.BT), the world's largest brewer by sales, on Thursday lifted for the second time in a year its cost-savings target from its multibillion-dollar acquisition of former rival SABMiller, as it reported a sharp rise in net profit for the third quarter of 2017.

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The maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona now expects full-year synergies and cost savings from the deal of $3.2 billion on a constant currency basis, up from its previous forecast of $2.8 billion. Previously, the company in March had already raised its savings expectation from the acquisition from an initial estimate of $2.45 billion.

AB InBev's net profit for the three months to Sept. 30 stood at $2.06 billion, up from $557 million a year earlier when it was hit by financing costs related to the SABMiller deal. This compares with a consensus estimate of $2.57 billion provided by FactSet.

Revenue grew 3.6% on an organic basis--stripping out currency fluctuations--in the third quarter to $14.74 billion, as the company continued to promote premium beers, it said.

Total volumes sold fell 1.2% to 161 million hectoliters, mainly due to the impact of the hurricane season in the U.S.--the company's largest market--and soft shipments in Brazil, the brewer said. AB InBev added that combined revenue for its three largest brands--Corona, Stella Artois and Budweiser--rose 1.6%.

The company also reported third-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $5.73 billion, up 13.8% on the year-earlier period.

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The beer giant reaffirmed its full-year outlook of an acceleration of revenue growth, despite increased volatility in key markets.

Write to Adria Calatayud at adria.calatayudvaello@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 26, 2017 01:53 ET (05:53 GMT)