InBev Profits Up

Growth in Brazil and lower taxes drive up second quarter profits

InBev, the Belgian-Brazilian beer giant that’s buying Anheuser-Busch, said last week it made $805 million in the second quarter, up more than 18 percent from $680 million in the year-ago quarter due to savings on income tax.

The income tax was $94 million for the quarter ended June 30, down from $247 million a year earlier.

The company’s second-quarter sales were $5.53 billion, compared to $5 billion a year earlier. Results were affected by higher costs for transportation, fuel, and beer ingredients, including hops. North American beer volumes increased 1.2 percent.

The company said it remains “far from satisfied” with its results so far this year. But it added that the second-quarter performance showed an improvement from the first quarter, as sales in Brazil returned to growth, and a decline in its Russian business was largely halted.

InBev said Thursday that the rising price of commodities continued to drive costs higher in the latest quarter, but the rate of growth has slowed and is expected to slow further in the second half of the year.

The acquisition of Anheuser-Busch is expected to generate cost savings of $1.5 billion a year by 2011, with asset sales also offering a way of repaying some of the loans needed to finance the takeover.

Among the properties that could go on the block are the brewer’s 10 theme parks across the U.S