- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2008

BRUSSELS(AP) — The brewer of Stella Artois and Beck’s beer said yesterday it was raising prices to offset soaring costs for raw ingredients such as malt, barley and aluminum.

InBev SA Chief Executive Officer Carlos Brito said the inflationary environment “pressures everybody” in the beer industry.

“You see the possibilities to pass some of the cost to prices,” he told reporters after InBev’s annual shareholders’ meeting. “If your brands are strong enough, you should take that opportunity.”

He said the company had already raised some prices, but he refused to give details on future pricing plans. The company will provide more information on the regions and brands where it believes it can raise prices when it reports first quarter results May 8.

InBev promised in February that it would not raise prices more than inflation — which it then forecast at 4 percent for the regions where it operates.

Soaring world prices for energy and food have pushed up inflation in most parts of the world, damping customer spending as shoppers spend more on groceries and gasoline.

Mr. Brito told shareholders that price increases in Brazil had cost it some market share that it hoped to recover this year. The company also makes Brazil’s best-selling Brahma beer.

GRAIN HARVEST

Grain processor Archer Daniels Midland said net income jumped 42 percent in the third quarter on higher volume of corn and soybeans.

Q3 ‘06 363 million

Q4 ‘06 955

Q1 ‘07 441

Q2 ‘07 473

Q3 ‘07 517 million

Source: Bloomberg News

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