• Half-year net profits rise by 27% to US$1.48bn
  • Net sales up by 11.5% to $10.54bn
  • Operating profits increased by 22% to $1.61bn
  • Latin America, Africa and Asia cover woes in Europe, US

SABMiller's has reported a tale of two worlds in the first half of its fiscal year, with Latin America, Africa and China bolstering the brewer amid tough conditions in Europe and the US.

To underline the point, SABMiller has jointly announced plans to spend US$260m to fund capacity increases in Africa and $295m to increase brewing capacity at its subsidiary in Peru, Backus.

Latin America and Africa were key drivers of the Peroni Nastro Azzurro brewer's half-year results. Headline figures were strong, with overall group net sales up by 11.5% to $10.54bn, and by 6% on an organic basis, excluding currency. Net profits for the six months to the end of September increased by 27% on the same period of last year, to $1.48bn, with operating profits up by 22% to $1.61bn.

However, the group's performance was somewhat undermined by problems in the beer markets of Eastern Europe and the US. On an organic basis, group EBITA in Europe and North America fell by 6% for the half-year. By contrast, Latin America, Africa and Asia reported organic EBITA up by 16%, 23% and 29%.

SABMiller's CEO, Graham Mackay, said: “Top and bottom line growth has been strong in most of our developing market businesses, propelled by our continued investment in brands, sales and marketing capability and production capacity." He added that he expects challenging market conditions in Europe and the US to remain during the group's second-half.

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