InBev ready to announce higher beer prices

Brewing giant InBev says it will increase prices because of the rise cost of ingredients, including malt, hops and aluminum.

InBev chief executive Carlos Brito said the beer industry was now facing a different environment “that pressures everybody” as inflation bites and basic costs continue to go up.

“You see the possibilities to pass some of the cost to prices,” he told reporters after an annual shareholders’ meeting. “If your brands are strong enough, you should take that opportunity.”

He said the company had already implemented some price rises but refused to give details on future pricing plans. The company would provide more information on the regions and brands where it believes it can hike prices when it reports first quarter results on May 8.

Brito the company will report lower growth for the first and second quarters of 2008 when compared with strong results for the same period last year.