AB InBev sees broad earnings rise outside weak Brazil

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AB InBev sees broad earnings rise outside weak Brazil

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By Philip Blenkinsop BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev <ABI.BR>, the world’s largest beer maker, reported an increase in second-quarter earnings on Thursday as gains in China, Mexico and new market South Africa offset weakness in Brazil. The brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, which makes more than a quarter of the world’s beer, saw a 1 percent increase in beer volumes and shifted consumers onto higher priced beers, resulting in a 5 percent increase in revenues. Second-quarter core profit (EBITDA) was up 11.8 percent excluding currency shifts and on a like-for-like basis, at $5.35 billion, compared with the average forecast in a Reuters poll of $5.40 billion. AB InBev, which sells more than twice as much beer as nearest rival Heineken <HEIN.AS> following its $100 billion acquisition of SABMiller in 2016, said volumes fell in its two largest markets, the United States and Brazil, as well as in Colombia. However, Brazil was the only main market to see profits decline, for a sixth consecutive quarter, as Latin America’s largest economy emerges unevenly and slowly from its worst recession in more than a century. In its largest market, the United States, profits did increase despite reduced volumes due to cost savings, with growth of higher-end beers not making up for falling sales of Budweiser and Bud Light.

(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)
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