Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Better-than-expected results and an attractive dividend payment saw the Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev) share price reverse a four-month slide on Thursday to end the day 5.4% higher at R1,329.50. The world’s largest beer group achieved only modest volume growth in the 12 months to the end of December, but managed a sparkling 13.4% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) on synergies and cost savings stemming from the October 2016 merger with SABMiller. The group said it had achieved synergies and cost savings of $1.3bn during financial 2017 and had now delivered $2.1bn of the expected $3.2bn of synergies and cost savings promised ahead of the October 2016 merger. South African Breweries (SAB) was one of the star performers, lifting margins by an impressive 600 basis points, enabling the company to report a 21.1% hike in ebitda on a beer revenue increase of just 6%. The substantial margin improvement in SA was achieved off a sales volume incr...

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