UPDATE 3-AB InBev upbeat on premium beer sales, raises dividend
* Q3 core profit (EBITDA) $4.40 bln vs consensus $4.43 bln
* Sees faster revenue per hectolitre growth due to premium beers
* No longer sees return to volume growth in China
* Interim dividend 1.60 euros vs 1.00 euros a year ago (Adds Breakingviews link)
By Philip Blenkinsop
BRUSSELS, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, gave an upbeat view on revenues due to higher than expected sales of premium lagers and raised its dividend even though it is primed to launch a $100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller next week.
The brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, which has a provisional agreement to buy its nearest rival, said it now believed revenue per hectolitre would grow by more than inflation, having previously said it would grow in line.
The effect would more than offset an expected increase of sales costs, such as on costlier ingredients and fancier packaging for more expensive beers, such as Stella Artois in the United States, Bud Light in Mexico or Budweiser in China.
AB InBev said its board had approved an interim dividend of 1.60 euros per share, from 1.00 euros a year earlier. Continuación...