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AmBev Reports 2009 Fourth Quarter Results Under IFRS

SAO PAULO, March 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Companhia de Bebidas das Americas – AmBev [BOVESPA: AMBV4, AMBV3; and NYSE: ABV, ABVc] announces today its results for the 2009 fourth quarter (Q4 2009). The following financial and operating information, unless otherwise indicated, is presented in nominal Reais and prepared in accordance with International Financial and Reporting Standards (IFRS), and should be read in conjunction with our quarterly financial information for the three and twelve months period ended December 31, 2009 filed with the CVM and submitted to the SEC.

This press release segregates the impact of organic changes from those arising from changes in scope or currency translation. Scopes represent the impact of acquisitions and divestitures, monetary restatement for hyperinflationary economies, and the start-up or termination of activities. Otherwise stated, percentage changes in this press release are both organic and normalized in nature.  Whenever used in this document, the term "normalized" refers to performance measures (EBITDA, EBIT, Net income, EPS) before special items. Special items are either income or expenses, which do not occur regularly as part of the normal activities of the Company. They are presented separately because they are important for the understanding of the underlying sustainable performance of the Company due to their size or nature. Normalized measures are additional measures used by management, and should not replace the measures determined in accordance with IFRS as an indicator of the Company's performance. Comparisons, unless otherwise stated, refer to the fourth quarter of 2008 (Q4 2008). Values in this release may not add up due to rounding.

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Top line performance: Net sales grew 13.9% driven by volume growth in Brazil and HILA-Ex as well as price increases across our regions, which drove Net Revenue/hl growth of 7.3% in the period. Organic volume growth of 6.1% in the period was driven by a 11.6% volume growth in Brazil and 11% of volume growth in HILA-Ex, which was partly offset by volume contraction of 6.5% in Latin America South and 5.6% in Canada.

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) and Selling, General & Administrative (SG&A) expenses: COGS/hl increased by 3.1% due to higher packaging costs, which were partly offset in the quarter by gains in commodity hedges, lower prices for PET and corn and productivity initiatives. SG&A (excl. depreciation & amortization) increased organically by 30.1% driven by volume growth, inflation, investment in the market to support innovations and accruals for variable compensation in the period.

EBITDA, Operating Cash Flow and Net Income: Our Normalized EBITDA reached R$3,021.3 million in Q4 2009, an organic growth of +9.1%, while margin contracted 200bps in the period to 44.6%, mainly due to higher accruals for variable compensation. Excluding these effects, Normalized EBITDA would have grown by 13% and margins would have dropped by 40 bps. Operating cash flow generation was R$3,307.6 million in Q4 2009, an increase of 14.2% as compared to 2008. Our Normalized Net income was R$1,794.4 million (+2.6%) in Q4 2009 while our Normalized Earnings per share (EPS) grew 2.2%.

Payout: In Q4 2009, we paid R$ 1.8 billion in dividends and R$ 0.5 billion in interest on own capital (IOC). There were no share buybacks in the quarter. During 2009, our payout reached a total amount of R$ 3.6 billion, between dividends and IOC.

    
    
    
    
    Financial Highlights - AmBev Consolidated                % As        %
    R$ million                          4Q08      4Q09     Reported   Organic
    ----------                          ----      ----     --------   -------
    Total volumes                     43,955.7  47,032.6       7.0%      6.1%
    
    Beer                              31,387.4  33,655.0       7.2%      7.1%
    
    CSD and NANC                      12,568.4  13,377.6       6.4%      3.5%
    
    Net sales                          6,365.5   6,778.6       6.5%     13.9%
    Gross profit                       4,165.9   4,527.0       8.7%     16.3%
    
    Gross margin                          65.4%     66.8%   130 bps   140 bps
    
    EBITDA                             2,918.5   3,017.8       3.4%     10.7%
    EBITDA margin                         45.8%     44.5%  -130 bps  -130 bps
    
    Normalized EBITDA                  2,965.8   3,021.3       1.9%      9.1%
    Normalized EBITDA margin              46.6%     44.6%  -200 bps  -200 bps
    
    Net Income -AmBev holders          1,701.1   1,790.9       5.3%          
    Normalized Net Income - AmBev
     holders                           1,748.3   1,794.4       2.6%         
    
    No. of share outstanding (millions)  614.0     616.4                    
    
    EPS (R$/shares)                       2.77      2.91       4.9%         
    
    Normalized EPS                        2.85      2.91       2.2%         
    
    
    
    Financial Highlights - AmBev Consolidated                  % As       %
    R$ million                        YTD 08     YTD 09      Reported  Organic
    ----------                        ------     ------      --------  -------
    Total volumes                    146,962.8  154,722.3       5.3%     5.1%
    
    Beer                             105,016.4  110,686.5       5.4%     5.9%
    
    CSD and NANC                      41,946.4   44,035.8       5.0%     3.0%
    
    Net sales                         20,713.2   23,194.0      12.0%    11.1%
    Gross profit                      13,495.5   15,462.1      14.6%    13.8%
    
    Gross margin                          65.2%      66.7%   150 bps  160 bps
    
    EBITDA                             9,115.1   10,557.7      15.8%    15.2%
    EBITDA margin                         44.0%      45.5%   150 bps  170 bps
    
    Normalized EBITDA                  9,174.3   10,361.1      12.9%    12.3%
    Normalized EBITDA margin              44.3%      44.7%    40 bps   50 bps
    
    Net Income - AmBev holders         5,119.1    5,986.0      16.9%
    Normalized Net Income - AmBev
     holders                           5,178.3    5,789.5      11.8%
    
    No. of share outstanding (millions)  614.0      616.4
    
    EPS (R$/shares)                       8.34       9.71      16.5%
    
    Normalized EPS                        8.43       9.39      11.4%
    

Note: Earnings per share calculation is based on outstanding shares (total existing shares excluding shares held in treasury).

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