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17.11.2011 Africa

Brewer SABMiller first half profits soar by 23%

Castle lager maker SABMIller has announced higher first half profits.  By STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN (AFP/File)Castle lager maker SABMIller has announced higher first half profits. By STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN (AFP/File)
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LONDON (AFP) - Anglo-South African brewer SABMiller, which is buying Australian group Foster's, said on Thursday that first-half net profits surged by almost one quarter thanks to rapid growth in emerging markets.

Earnings after taxation leapt to £1.382 billion ($2.17 billion, 1.61 billion euros) in the six months to September, compared with £1.122 billion on the same part of the previous financial year, SABMiller said in a results statement.

Revenues meanwhile advanced 10 percent to £15.69 billion, with rising volumes in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

SABMiller, the maker of Grolsch, Miller Lite, Peroni Nastro Azzuro and Pilsner Urquell, said it had performed well in a "mixed" trading environment.

"The group delivered a good financial performance in trading conditions which remained mixed across our markets," said the brewer in the earnings release.

"Latin America, Africa and Asia delivered good volume growth reflecting the strength of our brands and sales execution against a backdrop of increasing consumer expenditure."

"Conversely, in the USA and Europe, consumer markets remain weak. Trading conditions in Europe were also affected by competitor price reductions and intensified marketing investment and promotional activity."

SABMiller had agreed in September to buy Foster's for Aus$9.9 billion (US$10.16 billion) and expects the deal to be completed before the end of the year.

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