SABMiller profit up 26%

SABMiller, brewer of Peroni, Pilsner Urquell and Grolsch lagers, says its full year profit climbed 26% last year on the back of price increases and growth in emerging markets.

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Net profit rose to $2.41bn (£1.49bn) for the year to 31 March, up from $1.91bn (£1.18bn) in 2009. Sales rose 7% to $28.3bn (£17.52bn).

UK lager volumes grew 23% boosted by a strong performance on draught by Peroni, which grew 21% in the period.

The brewer marked a strong performance in Africa and Asia, with emerging market accounting for more than 80% of its profit.

Chief executive Graham Mackay says: “While consumer demand is likely to continue growing in most developing markets, there are uncertainties in the outlook for inflation and the pace of recovery in Europe and North America.”

He adds that pricing is likely to rise “selectively, country by country” to take account of a moderate increase in raw material costs.

The brewer is set to launch a new global marketing campaign this week for its Pilsner Urquell brand, created by The Bank. The activity will include an online animation and print ads to promote “the legends of Pilsner Urquell”, inspired by what the company says are true historical legends about the brand.

SABMiller also announced it is opening a £3m research brewery in Nottingham, which it says puts the UK at the “heart” of global brewing research.

The research facility is intended to lead to advances in sustainability and efficiency of beer production and could lead to consumer developments such as longer shelf lives.

SABMiller aims to reduce emissions to 68.5g per litre of beer by 2020.

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