Anheuser-Busch Reaffirms

It says profit rises, offsetting a volume slowdown.
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Anheuser-Busch (BUD) - Get Report backed 2006 guidance ahead of an investor presentation but said profit at its international beer operations will fall due to an unfavorable U.K. revenue mix.

"While volume growth for Anheuser-Busch and the industry has slowed in the second half of this year, improving revenue per barrel and cost of goods sold results have contributed to an acceleration in domestic beer profit growth," W. Randolph Baker, chief financial officer, told investors in New York.

The St. Louis-based brewer said it expects revenue per barrel growth to be somewhat greater in 2007 than in 2006, while cost of goods sold per barrel is expected to be up less than in 2006, due in part to lower energy costs.

"Enhancing volume growth will continue to be a major focus next year and we have a number of marketing initiatives, supported by increased marketing spending, to grow our trademark brands and increase our participation in the high-end segment," Baker said.