Anheuser-Busch InBev reports Q1 profit growth, sales up over 6%
For the January-March period, earnings rose to $1.69 billion, or $1.06 per share, compared with the $964 million, or 61 cents a share, a year-prior.
Revenue, meanwhile, rose 6.2 percent to $9.33 billion from $9.03 billion, driven by sales in North and South America.
In the U.S., the company said first quarter volumes grew by 1.3 percent. Volumes of sales from retailers edged up one percent, due to favourable weather across central and eastern parts of the country, and early signs of improvement in employment levels, the company said.
Beer volumes in Canada rose 3.6 percent in the latest quarter, led by better weather and a partial recovery in the economy.
Volumes in Brazil grew by four percent, with poor weather in January being partly offset by more favourable conditions in the rest of the quarter.
Anheuser also said consumer preference for Skol, Brahma and Antarctica make up 90 percent of its beer volume in that country.
The company also said its Budweiser brand is exceeding expectations in the country, where it was launched last August.
Additionally, it said an increase in the minimum wage in Brazil should support beer volumes — and profit margins — there.
For the quarter, the company said global volume was up 7.3 percent.
Quarterly gross margin rose by 124 basis points to 58.7 percent from 56.7 percent a year earlier.
Looking ahead, the alcohol beverage giant expects revenue per hectoliter to grow ahead of inflation, on a constant geographic basis.
The company also said that it expects second-quarter U.S. shipments to be softer due to adjustments made to shipping patterns, which may crimp Ebitda growth.
For the full-year 2012, the company revised its effective tax rate forecast. It now expects to see a tax rate of around 19 to 21 percent, compared to its prior estimate for 21 to 23 percent.
Shares dropped by 94 cents, or 1.29 percent, declining to $71.70 apiece in trade on the New York Stock Exchange.