UPDATE 2-AB InBev sees return to growth in Brazil with World Cup boost

miércoles 26 de febrero de 2014 04:46 GYT

* Q4 core profit $5.20 bln vs expected $4.94 bln

* Core profit included $143 mln one-off gain

* Sees return to volume growth in Brazil, Mexico

* Sees higher marketing spending, cost of sales

* Shares up 0.8 pct in flat food & drinks sector

By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, forecast the Brazilian and Mexican beer markets would return to growth this year due to the soccer World Cup and stronger economies, but cautioned about higher input and marketing costs.

The maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona said the World Cup would boost beer sales by 1 to 2 percentage points in Brazil, its second-largest market which shrank last year due to a wet summer and high inflation that sapped disposable income.

AB InBev also said on Wednesday stronger economic growth would drive Mexico and its biggest market, the United States in 2014. The latter, though, would suffer in January and February as exceptional cold weather and snow meant fewer people went out to bars.   Continuación...