UPDATE 1-AB InBev suffers in key markets Brazil and China
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BRUSSELS, July 30 (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, reported lower than expected earnings in the second quarter as it sold less beer in Brazil and Europe a year on from the World Cup and suffered from bad weather in the United States and China.
The maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona retained its 2015 forecast of improved industry volumes in the United States after a 0.6 percent decline in 2014, growth in Mexico and increased revenue in Brazil, helped by expansion of higher-priced lagers.
The company said in a statement that the second quarter had been challenged, with tough comparables from the soccer World Cup and weak economic conditions in a number of markets, such as Brazil and China.
Second-quarter core profit (EBITDA) rose by 4.6 percent on when scope and currency changes are excluded to $4.16 billion, below the $4.58 billion average forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.
"Unfavourable weather, especially in the U.S. and China, added to the pressure," it said, while adding that it expected to accelerate revenue growth in the second half of the year from the first half.
In China, the company referred to poor weather and economic headwinds leading to a tough first half. For the second half, the market should return to growth, the company said, adding that it would also benefit from a shift to more expensive brands.
Overall volumes declined by 2.2 percent.
(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop)
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