Why SABMiller Is Up 18% This Year


LONDON -- SABMiller (ISE: SAB.L) has advanced more than 18% to 2,815 pence so far during 2012, making the share one of this year's best performers in the FTSE 100.

The worldwide brewing company, whose more than 200 brands include Grolsch, Peroni, Carlsberg, and Strongbow, seems to have impressed investors with a series of positive statements.

During May, SABMiller's Annual Report for 2012 was published, revealing that group revenue had risen 11% to $31.4 billion, pre-tax profit had soared 55% to $5.6 billion, and free cash flow had increased 23% to $3 billion. Adjusted earnings per share were 12% up, at 214.8 cents, and the total dividend had been raised 12% to $0.91 per share.

During July, in a trading update for the first quarter, the company reported that, on an organic basis, lager volumes were up 5% and soft-drink volumes up 6% on the same quarter in the previous year. When acquisitions and disposals were taken into account, total volumes were up 10% for the period.

And today, SABMiller published its interim results for the half-year to Sept. 30. The results state that reported group revenue has grown 11% to $17.5 billion, and pre-tax profit is up 12% to $2.3 billion. Basic earnings per share increased 15% to $1, with the interim dividend raised by 14% to $0.24 per share.

Graham Mackay, executive chairman of SABMiller, commented:

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. We have strengthened our local flagship brands, complemented by product innovation across a wide range of styles and prices. Margins have risen modestly despite higher input costs, as a result of our cost reduction and procurement initiatives supplemented by a positive contribution from the acquisitions and business combinations concluded in the second half of last year.

SABMiller's next trading update will be published on Jan. 22 and may reveal further encouraging news to impress investors.

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