InBev has said it had a “difficult start” to 2008 as the brewer reported a 0.4% drop in first-quarter volumes and a 0.7% fall in EBITDA.

Although revenue rose 4.8% to €3.2bn (£2.5bn) during the period, InBev said sales had fallen in key markets such as Brazil and Eastern Europe.

“The first quarter was a difficult start to the year,” said InBev CEO Carlos Brito. “As highlighted in our 2007 full year announcement, we benefited from strong growth in the first half of 2007, which would lead to challenging comparables for the first half of 2008, especially in the first quarter with respect to both volume and EBITDA performance.”

“However, we believe that we have the right programmes in place to deliver stronger results in the following quarters, allowing us to resume EBITDA margin expansion in the second half of this year.”