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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 09:43 GMT
SABMiller gets new market boost
Empty pint glass
For SAB, the profit glass is looking much, much fuller
SABMiller, the world's third largest brewer, has reported a surge in profits helped by US and South African demand.

Pre-tax earnings in the six months to 18 November jumped 80% to $1.2bn (645m) from $665m a year earlier, with sales up 14% to $7.18bn.

The producer of Miller Lite and Castle beer is starting to see the benefits of revamping its US operations.

SAB also is offsetting slower demand in western Europe by selling into markets such as China and eastern Europe.

Revival

Chief executive Graham Mackay said the firm had "continued to build our business, with acquisitions in China and Romania, and to make significant investments in brand marketing, channel development and brewing infrastructure".

"In North America the results from Miller Brewing Company are beginning to reflect the wide ranging actions we have taken to turn around the business," he added.

SAB gets about three-quarters of its earnings from emerging markets where many consumers are turning from hard spirits to beer.

In South Africa, meanwhile, earnings got a boost from warmer weather in the first half of this year and accelerating economic growth.

SAB Miller shares rose 3.3% during early trading in London, outperforming a declining market.


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