VENTURES AFRICA – SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer, offset a fall in beer drinking in Europe and North America, as strong growth in Africa and Latin America (Latam) helped the global brewer beat forecasts with a 12 percent rise in full-year earnings.
SABMiller said on Thursday that; “Trading conditions are expected to be broadly unchanged with further growth in our developing markets but no more than modest improvement in consumer spending in some more developed economies”.
According to reports, the London-based brewer was boosted by strong markets in Latam countries (Colombia and Peru), and in countries such as Tanzania and Zambia in Africa, setting a trend of higher sales and beer consumption in emerging markets.
The Peroni and Grolsch beermaker, which bought Foster’s in December with its near-half share of the Australian beer market, earns 70 percent of its profit from fast-growing emerging markets, which has helped protect its profits from the economising customers of more mature markets.
SABMiller said input costs, such as for barley, glass and aluminium, will tick higher this year to see a mid-single digit percent rise. Its 2011/12 operating margin rose 10 basis points to 17,9% after the group forecast broadly flat margins.
Reports indicate that the company, which has expanded rapidly over the past two decades from its South African roots, reported adjusted earnings per share of 214.8 US cents for its year to end-March, compared to a company-compiled consensus of 209 cents.
It also raised its year dividend 12 percent to 91 cents.
Revenue rose 11 percent to $31.4 billion, while EBITA was up 12 percent at $5.6 billion. Underlying annual beer volumes rose 3 percent.
Last month, the brewing giant came under criticism when it revealed plans to name its Chief Executive Graham Mackay chairman. The move is said to be against British corporate governance code which kicks against chief executives ascending to become chairmen.
SABMiller is listed 3rd on the list of Africa’s Top 250 companies.