SABMiller beats revenue expectations

SABMiller, one of the world's largest brewers, managed to beat analysts' sales forecasts in the fist half as its hiked its interim dividend by 12 per cent.

SABMiller, one of the world's largest brewers, managed to beat analysts' sales forecasts in the fist half as its hiked its interim dividend by 12 per cent.

The company reported revenue of $17,476m in the six months to the end of September, up 11% on $15,688m reported the year before, and better than the $16,940m that Charles Stanley was expecting.

However, while SABMiller said that it grew volumes and revenues across most regions during the period, it did admit to a moderation of growth in some emerging markets.

"Development of brands, product ranges and the route to market continued across the breadth of our portfolio supported by further improved operating processes.The acquisition of Foster's in particular has contributed significantly," the firm said.

While profit before tax rose 12% from $2,041m to $2,269m, analysts at Charles Stanley had pencilled in a figure closer of $2,575m.

The interim dividend was raised by 12% from 21.5 cents per share to 24.0 cents per share.

Free cash flow for the period was $1,684m, up 14% year-on-year from $1,479.

"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," said the group's Chairman Graham Mackay.

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