By James Atkinson
Following last year's 7.7 per cent earnings decline, Lion's Beer, Spirits & Wine division has returned to growth with EBIT rising 7.6 per cent to $633.3 million for the full year ended 30 September 2012.
In Australia, Lion grew volumes 1.6 per cent, leading to a six per cent revenue increase to $1,817.5 million.
"This was achieved against the backdrop of a beer market that declined five per cent," the company said.
"The solid revenue performance reflects successful innovation and portfolio management initiatives delivering improvements in revenue mix, as well as decisions by international brand owners to partner with Lion in the Australian market."
Lion said XXXX GOLD continues to grow volume and value share off a large base while the new generation XXXX Summer Bright Lager continued its impressive growth trajectory, up close to seven percent on the prior year.
It said the Hahn Super Dry and James Boag & Son trademarks performed strongly across the year, and Tooheys 5 Seeds cider grew over 64 per cent.
The company said its premium wine business performed solidly in challenging market conditions, however international wine sales continue to be crimped by the high Australian dollar.