The weather and a shift in favour of drinking at home have been blamed for a mixed bag of results from the drinks giants.

Carlsberg and InBev remained upbeat despite both posting disappointing results for the first quarter of the year.

Carlsberg's first-quarter operating profit fell 3% to £40.3m as Western markets continued to slow down in volume terms and costs related to its acquisition of S&N with rival Heineken took their toll. However, the outlook would improve, predicted CEO Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen. First-quarter earnings typically made "only a modest contribution" to full-year earnings, he said. Warmer weather in the second and third quarters usually boosted profits.

InBev's sales rose 4.8% to €3.2bn - below the forecast €3.23bn. It attributed this to poor weather and an early carnival in Brazil. The company did boost UK beer volumes in the UK 4.1%, however.

Chief executive Carlos Brito said he was positive, even though trading would be tougher this year. "We are confident that great people, united by one ownership culture, working towards a shared dream, will deliver," he said.

Spirits company Diageo, however, maintained its profit forecast after third-quarter sales rose 7%, excluding acquisitions and currency movements, in the nine months to March.

Diageo CEO Paul Walsh dismissed worries that falling house prices and rising food and energy costs would endanger the predicted 9% like-for-like rise in in operating profit for the full year, claiming spirits were "an affordable luxury".

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