SABMiller says net profits jump in first half

Drinks giant SABMiller said on Thursday that net profits rallied 15% in the first half of its financial year as the brewer was boosted by cost cutting, emerging markets and price hikes.

Earnings after taxation jumped to US$1,122-billion in the six months to the end of September, compared with $973-million in the same part of the previous year.

The company—listed on the London Stock Exchange—produces Grolsch, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell beers, and is the world’s second-biggest brewer by volume after Anheuser-Busch Inbev.

“In trading conditions which remained mixed across our markets, the group benefited from its global spread of businesses, delivering a strong financial performance,” said chief executive Graham Mackay in the results statement. The strength of our brands, which supported price increases taken largely in the prior year, contributed to good revenue growth.Cost reductions, driven by lower raw material input costs and further fixed cost efficiencies, helped to finance increased investment behind our brand portfolios and assisted margin enhancement.”

Total revenues in the reporting period climbed by seven percent to $14,236-billion, added the maker of Miller Lite and Coors Light beers.

Sales surged ahead in Africa, Asia and Latin America—the three regions where SABMiller generates more than 80% of its profits. However, turnover slid in Europe as government austerity measures took their toll.—Sapa-AFP

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