July 26, 2018 / 11:03 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 2-Brazil's Ambev shares rise after strong Q2 results

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SAO PAULO, July 26 (Reuters) - Shares in AmBev SA , the Latin American unit of brewing giant Anheuser Busch InBev NV, rose more than 4 percent in early trading after the company reported strong quarterly earnings on Thursday that slightly missed a consensus forecast.

In a securities filing, the company reported a second quarter adjusted net profit of 2.349 billion reais ($636.95 million), up 9.7 percent from a year earlier but below a Reuters consensus estimate of 2.43 billion reais.

AmBev shares rose to 19.73 reais per share after the company reported beer volumes rose in the second quarter following a weak start to the year.

Despite a truckers’ strike in May, which crippled Brazil’s roads for 11 days that month, AmBev said it was able to raise beer delivery volumes by 1.7 percent in the period, partly supported by sales during the World Cup.

Overall, the beer industry remained flat in the quarter, as expected, AmBev noted.

The non-alcoholic drinks segment in Brazil also enjoyed a strong quarter, with volumes rising 1 percent, while the overall soft drinks industry fell by one digit on average, AmBev said.

All of this contributed to boost net revenues to 11.5 billion reais in the second quarter, up 12.1 percent from a year earlier, AmBev said.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a measure of operating income known as EBITDA, came in at 4.534 billion reais, beating a consensus estimate of 4.39 billion reais.

AmBev said the truckers strike challenged its distribution capabilities in the quarter. However, it said it was able “to react quickly” after the strike to keep products on supermarket shelves. ($1 = 3.6879 reais) (Reporting by Gram Slattery and Ana Mano; editing by Jason Neely, Jan Harvey and Jonathan Oatis)

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