The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser, Michelob and Bud Light, has posted a 4% rise in full-year turnover helped by US drinkers switching to low-carbohydrate beers.

For the year to December 31, pre-tax profit rose 8% to $2.8bn from $2.6bn last year on sales that rose to $14.1bn from $13.6bn.

International beer volume rose 5% with strong sales in China.

A-B said fourth quarter sales in the US were boosted by the “outstanding success” of its new Michelob Ultra low-carbohydrate brand and increased sales volumes of Bud Light.

A-B noted that its domestic market share, excluding exports, for 2003 rose to 50%from 49% in 2002.