Top brewer AB InBev posts profit surge for 2017


Brussels (AFP)

AB InBev, the world's biggest brewer, on Thursday posted a huge jump in net profit for last year, drinking in the synergies from its blockbuster acquisition of rival SABMiller in 2016.

AB InBev, the brewer of Stella Artois and Budweiser, said in a statement that its net profit rose 64 percent to $7.967 billion in 2017.

For 2018, Belgium-based AB Inbev expects to see strong growth in revenue and a wider profit margin, with revenue per unit growing faster than inflation as costs drop.

The group, which also owns Corona and Beck's, saw operating profit -- which serves as a benchmark for internal forecasts -- rise by 13.4 percent on a comparable basis to $22.1 billion.

Full-year revenues grew by 5.1 percent to $56.4 billion.

At the end of 2017, the company's debt stood at $104.4 billion, down from $108 billion a year earlier, but still at a high level after its historic buyout binge.