May 7, 2019 / 11:20 AM / 2 months ago

Brazil's Ambev misses quarterly profit estimates amid higher costs

The AmBev (Companhia de Bebidas das Americas) logo is pictured in their unit in Fortaleza, Brazil January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian beverage firm Ambev SA reported a 6.2 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Tuesday which still missed market expectations amid a double-digit increase in the cost of goods sold and higher financial expenses.

The Latin American unit of Anheuser Busch InBev said total net income was 2.749 billion reais ($692.74 million), compared to a consensus estimate of 2.969 billion reais ($748.18 million) compiled by Refinitiv data.

Quarterly net revenue grew 8.6 percent to 12.64 billion reais, while volumes rose 6.1 percent to 41.3 million hectoliter. As a result, revenue per hectoliter increased 2.3 percent year-on-year.

Still, total cost of goods sold hit 5.1 billion reais, up 14.6 percent compared to the same period of 2018, partially due to higher commodities prices and inflation pressure in Argentina.

The company’s financial expenses were also 12.2 percent higher in the first quarter, while general, sales and administrative costs edged up 1.6 percent.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) were 5.12 billion reais, up 7 percent compared to the first three months of 2018.

The Brazilian subsidiary AmBev, of which AB InBev owns 61.9 percent, has a presence in 16 countries in the Americas, including Argentina and Canada.

Ambev shares traded on the Sao Paulo stock exchange have risen more than 17 percent so far this year, partially recovering from a 25 percent drop in 2018.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello; editing by Bernadette Baum

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