AB InBev Profit Rises but Struggles in Brazil, U.S. Continue

By Nick KostovFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the world's largest brewer by sales, reported a sharp rise in net profit but said it continued to struggle in the U.S. and Brazil, its two largest markets.

The maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona said net profit surged to $1.41 billion in the three months to the end of March from $132 million a year earlier, when it was hit by funding costs linked to the purchase of rival SABMiller.

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Revenue rose 3.7% on an organic basis to $12.92 billion, lifted by Latin America and Asia Pacific. The brewer, however, said it lost market share in the U.S. and revenue per hectoliter in Brazil declined due to large state tax increases last year that haven't yet been passed on to customers.

Facing a decline in the popularity of its biggest brands in the U.S. and Western Europe, AB InBev completed the acquisition of SABMiller last year, making a huge bet that it could instead tap new growth in Africa and other emerging markets like Colombia and Peru.

The company said its full-year expectations remained unchanged, including an acceleration of revenue growth.

Write to Nick Kostov at Nick.Kostov@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 04, 2017 02:27 ET (06:27 GMT)