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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 3/17/2002 9:59:02 PM EST
[url]http://europe.cnn.com/2002/BUSINESS/03/13/interbrew/index.html[/url] BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) - Interbrew, the world's second biggest brewer by volume, on Wednesday posted strong 2001 earnings, boosted by its purchase of Bass UK, and said it would continue on the acquisition trail. The Brussels-based company said 2001 net income, excluding acquisition costs, jumped 98.2 percent to 537 million euros from 271 million a year earlier. Earnings per share before goodwill rose 38.5 percent to 1.44 euros from 1.04 in 2002. Interbrew also said it would increase its annual dividend by 38 percent to 0.29 euros. Net sales rose 29.1 percent to 7.3 billion euros from 5.7 billion in the previous year, and the company said sales growth is expected to continue to be strong. "Barring unforeseen circumstances, Interbrew remains on track to meet its longer-term objectives,'' the company said in a statement. Interbrew, which makes beers such as Stella Artois, Labatt and Rolling Rock, ranks No.2 behind U.S.-based Anheuser-Busch, best known for its Budweiser beer. It's main European rival is Heineken. In recent years, Interbrew has gobbled up half a dozen companies in Asia and Europe, and it signalled on Wednesday that more purchases were to come. "The desire to continue to be one of the leading consolidators is still there,'' Chief Financial Officer Luc Missorten said. "We are looking at a number of opportunities in various regions with nothing specific at this stage.'' Last year, Interbrew bought premium lager maker Beck's, Germany's fourth-biggest brewer, for $1.6 billion. It also purchased an 80 percent stake in German speciality beer maker Diebels. In 2000, it bought UK brewer Bass for $3.3 billion, but ran into a roadblock from UK regulators who said merging Bass -- which included the Carling brand -- with Interbrew's own beer assets would have led to higher beer prices. Interbrew was eventually forced to sell the Carling operations. Interbrew shares were up 0.7 percent at 31.35 euros in midday trading in Brussels on Wednesday. Most analysts were pleased with Interbrew's numbers, especially compared to lower than expected growth figures from Heineken last month.
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 10:04:30 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/18/2002 12:35:55 PM EST
Bass Beer? I thought that was Bass Ale.
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