Bloomberg News

AB InBev Slides as Brazil Increases Beer Taxes: Brussels Mover

June 01, 2012

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), the world’s biggest brewer, posted the second-biggest decline among leading Belgian stocks after the Brazilian government raised beer taxes more than anticipated.

The shares fell as much as 3.3 percent and were down 3 percent at 53.09 euros as of 12:42 p.m. They had risen 16 percent this year before today.

AB InBev, based in Leuven, Brussels, owns Cia. de Bebidas das Americas, Brazil’s biggest brewer, or AmBev, and gets about 30 percent of its earnings before interest and taxation from the country, where it sells beers including Skol and Brahma.

The Brazilian government raised taxes on beer by 26 percent yesterday. A price increase of about 2.9 percent may be needed to offset the measure, Gabriel Vaz de Lima, an analyst at Barclays Capital in Sao Paolo, wrote in a note yesterday.

Raising prices on that scale would have “a meaningful impact,” Vaz de Lima wrote. “We expect AmBev to shortly announce if it’ll offset the tax hike with price increases.”

Tax increases in large markets have depressed beer sales in many parts of the world. Carlsberg A/S reported a decline in profit last year after the Russian beer market contracted about 3 percent due to tax increases. Brazil also increased taxes on soft drinks and cut levies on cars and consumer credit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Clementine Fletcher in London cfletcher5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net


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