By Andy Young

Brewing giant SABMiller has reported a slight drop in its full-year profit, down to US$3.30 billion, from $3.38bn a year ago.

The company reported that its operating earnings declined one per cent to $6.37 billion but analysts had estimated a decline to $6.23 billion. SABMiller's revenue gained 6 per cent to $22.13 billion.

SABMiller chief executive Alan Clark said that operations in Australian had "gained share in a weaker market", although it was reported that there was a two per cent drop in sales and one per cent drop in volume in Australia.

Clark added that while there was a decline in core brands and lager volumes, this was "only partially offset by strong growth in our premium portfolio".

While beer volumes proved challenging for the brewer, its soft drinks portfolio helped push things forward with an increase of eight per cent.

Clark added: "Our move into more soft drinks in our portfolio has proven to be a good call. The business is taking soft drinks more seriously after a strong performance. Soft drinks continue to be a stand-out performer."

Clark also revealed that the company had been exposed to the increasing value of the US dollar, which pushed up raw material costs and reduced the value of its overseas sales. But he added that he believed the company was showing good progress in its strategy for growth.

He said: "We have a clear strategy to drive topline growth, improve efficiency and shape our mix of business to continue to deliver superior returns to shareholders. Today's results demonstrate good progress against this strategy. This success is founded on our broad exposure to high-growth developing markets where we have long standing commercial and operational experience, including deep local consumer insights.  We have also seen good performance from many of our markets in improving their premium mix and driving innovation. 

"Topline revenue growth was strong in the face of industry headwinds which kept lager volumes in line with last year. Revenue growth was helped by positive results from our strategy to increase premium beer sales in markets like the USA and Australia and in developing markets across Africa and in Colombia."

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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1 Comment

  1. If SABMiller want to improve efficiency in Australia, they should look at their Sales force, the current model is outdated,(even in comparison to Lion, which isn’t that great).The whole process where a sales rep need to physical visit a store to justify their role is so backwards, considering that the information can presented via emails. My experience with SABMiller Reps is that they are the biggest timewasters with in the industry.

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