UPDATE 2-AB InBev suffers weak 2016 start from Brazil beer slump
* Q1 core profit $3.46 bln vs Reuters poll average $3.73 bln
* Beer volumes down 1.7 pct, fall of 10 pct in Brazil
* Recession, early Carnival behind Brazil weakness
* AB InBev retains forecast, sees SABMiller takeover closing in H2 (Adds shares, analyst comment)
By Philip Blenkinsop
BRUSSELS, May 4 (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev, set to increase its global beer leadership by buying SABMiller , reported lower than expected earnings in the first three months after it sold 10 percent less beer in its second largest market, Brazil.
AB InBev shares fell as much as 4.6 percent to a seven-week low of 103.20 euros, making them among the weakest performers in the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European stocks.
The brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona had warned in February that it was likely to have a weak start to the year in Latin America's biggest economy.
Brazil, where AB InBev has two-thirds of the beer market, contracted at its sharpest rate since 1990 last year and the outlook for 2016 is nearly as bad with a political crisis now adding to its problems. Continuación...