AB InBev boosted by Brazil

Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev earned more than expected in the first three months of 2010 as beer sales grew in booming Brazil but said World Cup marketing costs would hit second-quarter profits. The brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck's said yesterday core like-for-like earnings rose 5.1 per cent in January-March to $3.09bn (£2bn). AB InBev had previously forecast a low single-digit percentage rise due to a US market hit by bad weather, a tripling of beer tax in Russia, and higher emerging market commodity prices. Overall, the company sold 0.8 per cent more barrels. The company, based iBelgium, made a $716m profit in the same period last year.