AB InBev Profit Doubles, Sales Flat
The Associated Press reports that the world''s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev NV posted sharply higher net profit for the first quarter, but the results were skewed by high costs last year, while sales remained flat. Price increases and a push to get consumers to trade up to more expensive beer brands helped the maker of beers such as Stella Artois and Budweiser to compensate for sluggish beer sales in the United States, where high unemployment continues to rattle demand. AB InBev''s net profit more than doubled to $964 million for the three months ended March 31, from $475 million for the same period a year earlier, when high financing costs weighed on the bottom line. Revenue grew 8.1 percent to $9 billion from $8.33 billion. The Leuven, Belgium-based brewer said overall beer volumes were mostly flat, as continued declines in the United States wiped out growing volumes in all other regions.