SABMiller Reports Good H1 Growth, Carried By Africa As Europe Declines

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VENTURES AFRICA – SABMiller reports good growth for the six months to end September, despite declines in the European market, with African results proving pivotal to growth.

The brewing group’s earnings before deduction of interest, tax, and amortisation (EBITA) were up by 17 percent on last year’s figures for H1, weighing in at $3.173 billion, as compared to the 2011 result of $2.701 billion.

Revenue for the group also showed strong growth, increasing 11 percent to $17.476 billion- a significantly better result than last year’s first-half result of $15.688 billion.

Speaking on the positive results, Executive Chairman of SABMiller Graham Mackay said in a statement: “Broad-based revenue and profit growth in the first half reflects the continued success of our approach to the development of our brands, product portfolios, distribution and sales effectiveness.”

Mackay went on to explain focal points for the group this half: “We have strengthened our local flagship brands, complemented by product innovation across a wide range of styles and prices. Margins have risen modestly despite higher input costs, as a result of our cost reduction and procurement initiatives supplemented by a positive contribution from the acquisitions and business combinations concluded in the second half of last year.”

The European results for SABMiller struggled this half, with a 10 percent decline in growth reflecting the economic difficulties prevailing across the region.

Meanwhile, African results counteracted the negative European trends, displaying 8 percent growth across African markets for H1 2012; half-year EBITA for Africa totalling $355 million. The exception to the African success was felt in South Africa – Africa’s largest economy, where negative growth was felt in the beverage sector, growth down at 4 per cent; and a two per cent decline was seen across the hotels and gaming market in the country.