FILE PHOTO: The logo of AB InBev is pictured outside the brewer's headquarters in Leuven

JOHANNESBURG - The world's largest brewer AB InBev said on Tuesday its revenue grew by 5.9 percent in the first quarter of 2019, driven by healthy volume growth, among other factors.

The company said it expected to deliver strong revenue and growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) during the 2019 financial year, on the back of the solid performance of its brand portfolio and strong commercial plans.

"Our growth model is even more focused on category expansion, targeting a more balanced top-line growth between volume and revenue per hectolitre. We expect to deliver revenue per hectolitre growth ahead of inflation based on premiumization and revenue management initiatives, while keeping costs below inflation," it said.

In the first quarter, EBITDA increased by 8.2 percent. Normalized profit attributable to equity holders of AB InBev was US$2.516 billion compared with $1.443 billion during the same quarter last year.

Normalised earnings per share increased to $1.27 from $0.73, positively impacted by mark-to-market gains linked to the hedging of the company's share-based payment programs.

AB InBev, which took over South African Breweries (SAB) in 2016, said the business integration had resulted in synergies and cost savings of $100 million in the first quarter of 2019.

- African News Agency (ANA)