Brazilian brewer Ambev’s profit slumps in sector-wide decline

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FILE PHOTO - A worker checks a machine at the Brazil-based Ambev, the Latin American arm of brewing giant AB InBev, in the Pirai city near Rio de Janeiro

SAO PAULO – Brazilian brewer Ambev SA’s fourth-quarter net income fell 45.6% from a year earlier to 3.75 billion reais ($748.55 million), it said on Thursday, citing widespread deceleration across the industry.

The bottom line came in below a consensus forecast for 4 billion reais in a Refinitiv Eikon poll, but Ambev said it continued to outperform its peers, noting that its volumes were down 3.1% year on year while the decline across the sector was in high single digits.

Ambev’s quarterly net revenue rose 18.6% to 22.01 billion reais, above an average market estimate of 21.3 billion reais.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dropped 24.1% to 6.78 billion reais while the EBITDA margin fell 17.4 percentage points to 30.8%.

In a separate securities filing, the subsidiary of Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev SA announced that it expects the cost of goods sold (COGS) per hectoliter in its Brazilian beer business to grow by between 16% and 19% this year because of rising commodities prices and depreciation of the Brazilian real.

($1 = 5.0097 reais)

(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by David Goodman)

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