InBev, the brewer of Stella Artois, has reported a 4.1% increase in beer volumes in the UK for the first quarter of 2008, despite posting overall below-forecast results. The world’s second largest brewer recorded a fall in first quarter profit to Eu249m (£196m), down from £280m the previous year, as a result of poor weather in Brazil and tough comparables. The group saw worldwide volumes fall by 0.4% and in Western Europe volumes declined by 1.2%, while the UK and Germany were one of the few markets to see increases. Beer sales in Brazil, one of its key markets, suffered due to an early Carnival holiday season and bad weather conditions, with sales falling by 1.9%. The company reported ebitda of Eu982m against Eu962m a year earlier. InBev, however, said that while 2008 would be a more challenging year than the previous three years, it predicted improved results in subsequent quarters and a growth in its ebitda margins. Carlos Brito, Inbev chief executive, said: “In summary, we recognize that in 2008 there will be greater challenges to overcome than there have been over the past three years. “The second quarter should continue to present us with a tough comparable basis against last year. However, we are confident that great people, united by one ownership culture, working towards a shared dream, will deliver.”

Topics