AB InBev core profit rise limited by marketing spend

BRUSSELS Wed May 7, 2014 1:18am EDT

BRUSSELS May 7 (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beer maker, reported lower than expected core profit in the first quarter on Wednesday, as increased sales and marketing expenses limited margin expansion.

The maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona sold more beer than a year ago in every region except Europe. Brazil and China were the stand-out performers, with volume increases of 10.9 and 9.4 percent respectively.

The brewer has forecast that the Brazilian and Mexican markets would return to growth this year due to the soccer World Cup and stronger economies, and this despite a recently announced increase of excise duty in Brazil.

However, it has cautioned about higher input and marketing costs, the latter set to increase by a low to mid teens percentage. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)

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