BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR), the world’s largest brewer, beat expectations for profit growth in the fourth quarter on Thursday and forecast that consumers in its two main markets - the United States and Brazil - would be drinking more in 2012.
The brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s, reported a 12.2 percent like-for-like rise in core profit (EBITDA) in the final three months of 2011 to $4.24 billion, clearly above the $4.14 billion average expectation in a Reuters poll.
The brewer said it was also proposing a 50-percent increase in its dividend to 1.20 euros. However, this was below the 1.34 euro average forecast in the Reuters poll.
Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Rex Merrifield