Developing markets drive SABMiller profit rise

Guy Bentley
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Brewer SABMiller has enjoyed a rise in profit before tax of three per cent to $4.8bn for the year ended 31 March.

The maker of Fosters and Peroni saw lager volumes rise by one per cent, with expansion in Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific partially offset by declines in Europe and North America. The company's full year dividend rose by four per cent per share to $1.05 cents.

However, revenue for the FTSE 100 company fell by four per cent to $22.3bn.

"As we look ahead, we will continue to innovate and rejuvenate our products, build on our position in growth markets, and increase the efficiency of our operations. With this approach I believe we are well placed to continue to deliver strong returns to shareholders", said chief executive Alan Clark.

EBITA in Latin America, North America and and Africa grew by four per cent, eight per cent and 12 per cent respectively. EBITA in Europe was down by 10 per cent, with Poland leading volume declines. However, there were some improvements with respect to lager in the UK, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovakia.

In Africa, mainstream brands enjoyed a strong performance, while Castle Lite expanded the premium segment.

SABMiller expect trading conditions to remain broadly unchanged from the previous year, with developing markets driving growth.