HomeNewsDelta buoys SABMiller

Delta buoys SABMiller

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Delta Corporation contributed nearly $0,5 million to London-based parent SABMiller plc’s after-taxation profits in the first half ended September 30.

SABMiller, which controls 30% of Delta Corporation, earns over 80% of its profits from emerging markets.

Including SABMiller’s share of profits, Delta Corporation’s net profit position almost doubled to $20,5 million during the period, from $10,1 million during the comparable period last year.

The largest beverages maker in the country distributes and markets a number of SABMiller brands including Redd’s, Peroni and Miller Lite, the former of which has gained a foothold on the local market.

SABMiller expects trading in most of its key emerging markets to steadily improve as the brewer of Miller Lite and Peroni beers beat forecasts on Thursday with a 16% rise in half-year earnings.

The world’s second biggest brewer said that although consumer spending remains subdued it will benefit from lower raw material costs and price rises.

The brewer of Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell reported strong profit growth from Latin America, Africa, Asia and North America but European profit fell as economic conditions hit consumer spending and encouraged downtrading to cheaper brands.

Its shares rose 2,9 % in early trade.

“Although consumer spending remains subdued, the trend of incremental improvement in economic conditions across most of our emerging markets is expected to be maintained,” chief executive Graham Mackay said in a results statement.

He said the group will continue to raise beer prices selectively but benefits from lower commodity prices and cost savings will be at a more moderate rate in its second half.

The London-based group reported adjusted earnings per share of 93 US cents for the six months to end-September, compared with 88,7 cents from a company compiled consensus.

The half-year dividend rose 15% to 19,5 cents a share.

“The market seems to have assumed that SABMiller is better placed than some competitors to deal with the increase in some commodity costs. Today’s statement provides further evidence for this view, and we expect the shares to respond positively today,” said analyst Matthew Webb at brokers JP Morgan Cazenove.

Brewers with big operations in emerging markets, like SABMiller and the world’s biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, have seen a recovery in beer volumes, while Heineken and Carlsberg, with more operations in developed markets, have struggled for growth.

SABMiller shares have risen over 12 % this year on prospects of a strong emerging markets recovery, narrowly outperforming the FTSE 100 and its peers.

The shares closed on Wednesday at £20,52.

Its large exposure to recovering emerging markets has pushed its shares higher to trade at 17,7 times forecast earnings for the year to March 2011, close to AB-InBev on 18,0 but ahead of Carlsberg’s 15,1 and Heineken’s 14,7.

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