Anheuser-Busch InBev has achieved a better than expected rise in first-quarter profits but warned that margins later this year would not see the same increase.

The drinks giant said its quarterly pre-tax earnings rose by 25.9% to $2.79bn.

The brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s said margins had improved across its entire global business, with North America showing the most rapid growth.

But the company said margins would not continue to improve at the same rate over the rest of the year as economic conditions remained difficult.

“While our business continues to show resilience in a tough global macroeconomic environment, we recognise the challenging operating landscape for the rest of the year,” chief executive Carlos Brito said in a statement.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, which was formed last year in a $52bn deal, also announced today that it would sell its Oriental Brewery in Korea for $1.8bn.

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