Growth in emerging markets and the integration of the Foster’s business has helped brewer SABMiller grow group revenue by 10% and achieve 14% EBITDA.
Currency fluctuations had an adverse impact, particularly in Europe where EBITA fell 6% and group revenues rose a more modest 5%, said the comapny, but focus on innovation and pricing had helped deliver a strong performance despite a challenging economic backdrop and commodity price hikes. The UK and Italy were singled out by CFO Jamie Wilson as particularly robust markets.
Acting chairman John Manser said it had been a year of “significant progress” with strong growth in developing markets supported by investment.
“Through a combination of innovation, effective brand development and good commercial execution we continued to develop the beer category and widen the appeal of our products,” he added. “Strong growth in our developing markets was supported by investments in additional capacity, commercial capability and distribution reach. The focus on operating efficiencies helped us achieve growth in profit margins.”
Results were particularly strong in Latin America, Africa, Asia Pacific and South Africa, Wilson said, with Asia Pacific seeing group revenue growth of 62% and EBITA up 166%, partly as a result of the Foster’s acquisition. Pack innovation and the growth of premium beers in Latin America helped drive growth and grow incremental sales in the alcohol market, but volumes fell in North America, which the company said was in line with the overall market.