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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 October 2006, 20:03 GMT 21:03 UK
Budweiser firm toasts profit rise
People celebrate at the Qingdao beer festival in China
Tsingtao in China has been doing well
Strong overseas sales have boosted profits at Anheuser Busch, the largest brewer in the US and the firm behind Budweiser lager.

Pre-tax profits for the third quarter jumped 27% to $793m (422m), with income from overseas sales rising 22%.

Sales were particularly strong in Mexico and China, where Budweiser owns stakes in local brewers Grupo Modelo and Tsingtao respectively.

Anheuser Busch is dominant in the US, with a 49% share of the beer market.

Head start

The company's domestic profits rose 7% over the period, due to increased sales of Rolling Rock, Grolsch and Tiger lagers.

Anheuser Busch is best known for Budweiser - the self-styled "king of beers" - but it has steadily expanded outside the US.

The firm now owns 14 breweries in China, while Budweiser is brewed under contract in countries across Europe and Asia.

Overseas, total volume sales grew 6% although sales fell in the UK, one of the company's most established and competitive markets.

Total sales grew 4% to $4.8bn.

Anheuser Busch said falling oil prices had helped temper rises in energy costs and that improvements in productivity had helped it mitigate general cost pressures.

"We expect Anheuser Busch's positive performance to continue to through the end of the year and our earnings to continue to improve in 2007," said chief executive Patrick Stokes.

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