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Beer giant toasts bumper World Cup sales

AFP
A Belgium fan drinks beer as he waits for the start of a World Cup football match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on June 22, 2014
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A Belgium fan drinks beer as he waits for the start of a World Cup football match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on June 22, 2014 (AFP Photo/Martin Bureau)

Brussels (AFP) - The world's biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, said Thursday it had seen a bumper quarter with World Cup fever boosting sales from Brazil to Germany.

The Belgian-Brazilian company was a major sponsor of the football competition with some of its biggest brands such as US-made Budweiser or the local Brahma brand being sold in stadiums from Rio to Salvador.

"The strong momentum built in the first quarter of the year continued into the second quarter, with volumes benefiting from the 2014 FIFA World Cup," the company said in a statement.

The results for the second quarter, covering the bulk of the World Cup tournament, saw total revenues rise by five percent from the same period last year to $12.2 billion (9.0 billion euros), while net profit surged 74 percent to $2.6 billion.

In total, the company -- the world's biggest brewer by volume -- said it had sold 119 million hectolitres (3.1 billion gallons) of beer around the world, with total volumes growing one per cent during the quarter.

World Cup hosts Brazil lead the way with volumes sold up 7.2 per cent, while in Germany -- which won the competition -- sales were up 3.2 per cent, it said.

Elsewhere, sales volumes grew 4.6 percent in China but fell in the United States by 3.4 percent.

The beer-drinking bonanza took place both inside and outside stadiums, after football's world governing body FIFA forced Brazil to change its laws to allow alcohol sales at the venues.

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