Anheuser-Busch InBev profits hit by finance charge

Image caption,
Sales in the US have been hit by bad weather

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, has reported a fall in profits of more than a third, largely due to a one-off financing charge.

The firm's net profit for the first three months of the year came in at $475m (£314m), which was down from $716m a year earlier.

Revenue rose slightly to $8.3bn from $8.2bn a year earlier.

Sales volumes in Brazil rose by 15.9%, while the brewer also saw strong growth in China and Canada.

But the group, whose beer brands include Becks, Budweiser, Brahma and Stella Artois, said US sales volumes fell because of "challenging weather conditions".

It added that the US sales figures suffered in comparison with particularly strong sales at the beginning of last year.

"We had a good start to 2010, despite a still challenging economic environment, and expect solid operating performance for the full year," the company said.

The company suffered from a $419m one-off charge in the quarter related to repayment and refinancing costs of the deal that brought the two brewers together in 2008.

In November of that year, Belgium-based brewer InBev completed a $52bn deal to take over US-based Anheuser.

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