InBev Profits Dip

Company still committed to A-B takeover

InBev reported a 14 percent drop in third-quarter profit after raw- material costs increased and said it still expects to close the $52 billion purchase of Anheuser-Busch Cos.

Net income fell to 447 million euros ($575 million) from 519 million euros a year earlier, Leuven, Belgium-based InBev said today.

InBev said costs, primarily for malt to and aluminum for beer cans, increased by 12 percent during the three-month period compared to the previous year.

InBev says it is well positioned to deal with tough times ahead as the global economy slows. The company said that rapid growth in beer volumes would likely slow, but lower costs would help profits.
“Most important for the InBev investment case is the Anheuser-Busch acquisition and related financing issues, as net debt is very high,” said Karel Zoete, an analyst at Rabo Securities.

Financing for the takeover is in place and InBev has commitments from 19 lenders, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Brito said on a conference call. Regulatory approval is being sought in the U.S., U.K. and China, he said.