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SABMiller sees profit fall on back of currency movements

SABMILLER yesterday said unfavourable currency movements caused its pre-tax profits to slide to $1.5bn (&pound;893m) for the six months to 30 September, down 26 per cent on the same period a year ago.<br /><br />The London-listed brewer of Miller Lite, Grolsch and Peroni Nastro Azzurro beers also reported a 21 per cent fall in revenue to $8.85m from $11.2m in 2008. <br /><br />Chief executive Graham Mackay said: &ldquo;The weakness of our major operating currencies against the US dollar has affected our reported results, but we have continued to generate a strong underlying performance.&rdquo;<br /><br />SAB said that when currency fluctuations were stripped out, its earnings were up 11 per cent. The group also said it had launched a four-year programme to cut costs and streamline finance, human resources and its procurement activities.<br /><br />An SAB spokesman said: &ldquo;The financial position of the group certainly remains strong, particularly in comparison to other years. <br /><br />&ldquo;The currency situation is improving and we certainly should get some benefit from more favourable currency movement in the second half.&rdquo;