City&FinanceBriefing London Lite Thursday, 13 August 2009 31 Brew giant fizzing on Stella surge DESPITE dropping its sponsorship of the Queens Club tennis tourna- ment for the first time in 30 years this summer, sales of Stella surged by nearly 7% between April and June. The launch of the lower-strength Stella Artois 4% and a renewed burst of creative humorous adver- tising for the traditional-strength Stella saw the overall brand gain market share, according to its owner, the brewing giant Anheuser Busch InBev. The worlds largest brewer was created through the 32 billion takeover of Anheuser Busch by InBev last year after a protracted bid battle. Alongside Stella it brews Budweiser, Becks and Skol. Today it reported second-quarter profits ahead of analysts forecasts and chief executive Carlos Brito said: We have strong operating momentum going into the second half of 2009, but we recognise that many challenges remain. The beer industry, while resil- ient in most of our key markets, is n o t i m m u n e t o e c o n o m i c pressures. The brewers earnings rose 18% in the three months to June to $3.6 billion (2.2 billion) on reve- nues 1.4% higher at $9.5 billion. That was despite beer volume sales dropping by 1.1%. In the UK, despite soaring Stella sales, the brewer said its total sales had fallen by 3.4% in the second quarter as overall beer volumes continued to slide. AB InBev said it had cut the costs of selling each pint of beer by almost 6% during the first half, mainly through more efficient brewing. It expects costs during the second half to remain flat which is some- what more optimistic than it had originally forecast. Witty ads: the lagers sales are soaring PRUDENTIAL today upped its half-yearly payment to shareholders, in sharp contrast to arch-rival Aviva. The giant insurer increased its interim dividend by 5% to 6.29p a share. Aviva last week had to cut its own payment to preserve cash. Prudential made profit for the six months to July of 688 million, up 6%. New business premiums lost 8% to 1.32 billion, a reflection of the plan to let market share fall if necessary. The UK arm saw sales drop 14% to 376 million, which is likely to prompt further talk from City analysts that it should be sold, perhaps to Clive Cowderys Resolution. Witty ads: the lagers sales are soaring PRUDENTIAL today upped its half-yearly payment to shareholders, in sharp contrast to arch-rival Aviva. The giant insurer increased its interim dividend by 5% to 6.29p a share. Aviva last week had to cut its own payment to preserve cash. Prudential made profit for the six months to July of 688 million, up 6%. New business premiums lost 8% to 1.32 billion, a reflection of the plan to let market share fall if necessary. The UK arm saw sales drop 14% to 376 million, which is likely to prompt further talk from City analysts that it should be sold, perhaps to Clive Cowderys Resolution. Prudential cheers with divi boost BY NICK GOODWAY Australia Dollars 1.8988 Canada Dollars 1.7255 Denmark Kroner 8.2205 Eurozone Euro 1.1101 Hong Kong Dollars 12.0700 Japan Yen 148.8900 New Zealand Dollars 2.3088 South Africa Rand 12.5100 Sweden Kronor 11.5300 Switzerland Francs 1.6901 UAE Dirham 5.6529 United States Dollars 1.5664 TOURIST RATES Londons biggest sandwich maker Greencore said today it has seen an improvement in its convenience foods markets for three quarters in a row. The Dublin-based group said good weather put sales in the four months to June 2.5% ahead of a year previously. It expects full-year profit to be modestly ahead of 2008s. ASHES Test series sponsor npower -- owned by German utility giant RWE -- today said disproportionately high pricing and cost pressures in the UK market, caused by the financial crisis, led to a 54% fall in its first-half profits. However, the loss was offset by the rest of the business across Europe producing a 5% rise in earnings to 5billion (4.3 billion). UP 58.04 at 4774.8 FTSE 100 DOW JONES NIKKEI -$ UP 120.16 at 9361.61 UP 82.19 at 10,517.19 UP 0.90 at $1.6572 >>For all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit thisismoney.co.uk * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. Not all stocks are available index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html