AB-InBev beer volumes grew 18.6% in the United Kingdom in the company’s second trading quarter, benefiting from Budweiser’s sponsorship of the football World Cup. The company behind the Budweiser, Becks and Stella Artois brands saw net profits rise to $1.5bn (£0.96bn) in the period, compared with $1.35bn a year ago, on revenue down from $9.5bn to $9.2bn on currency changes. As key sponsors, Budweiser and other local company brands such as Brahma and Jupiler were common sights at the FIFA World Cup, which straddled the second and third quarters. Budweiser performed particularly well, benefiting from the FIFA World Cup sponsorship which featured a number of campaigns and promotions, driving the brand’s good performance “in both the on-trade and off-trade channels,” it said. That helped boost global volumes to 100.6bn thousand hectolitres, up 2% on the equivalent period last year but down 4% on the previous quarter. Stuart MacFarlane, UK president of AB-InBev, said: “I’m especially pleased with our performance over the World Cup period, where Budweiser, official beer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, performed particularly well, in both the on-trade and off-trade channels. "Looking at half year performance, as compared with the same period last year, Budweiser has grown volumes by over 70% — an excellent result." But the company was not satisfied with its overall market share performance and vowed to re-focus for the remainder of the year. In a statement, it said: “Notwithstanding our international successes with Budweiser, we are not pleased with our overall market share performance, having gained or maintained share in markets representing almost half of our volumes. “We are putting in place brand building and commercial programs to improve our performance in the second half of 2010 and into 2011. “Importantly, our brand health indicators remain strong across all Zones. Several factors contributed to the share losses, including social actions in Belgium, tough comparisons in the United States and promotional activities by some competitors, especially in Germany.”