Global brewing force SABMiller has reported a 10% rise in sales and a 14% rise in adjusted earnings per share for the first half of 2005.

Total revenues for the first half rose by 9% to US$7.05bn, with EBITA up by 12% at US$1.26bn. Profit before tax fell by 14% with the inclusion of net exceptional credits from the previous year. On an adjusted basis, pre-tax profits were up by 15% at US$1.19bn, while earnings per share rose by 14% on a comparable basis to 52.7 US cents.

The company said its European business had performed well over the key summer period, with EBITA rising by 16% and organic volumes ahead by 4%, in spite of some unseasonal weather in the July and August. There had been strong growth in Poland, but a more modest progression in the Czech Republic, the company said.

Africa had shown a further good set of results for the half year, the brewer reported, reflecting strong trading in Tanzania and Mozambique. In China, SABMiller's associate company, CR Snow, generated organic volume growth of 16%, while in South Africa beer and soft drink volumes continued positive growth trends benefiting from increased marketing and sales activity, a mild winter and continued strong economic conditions.

"The group has delivered further increases in volumes and earnings in the first half, reaffirming our strong growth profile within the global brewing industry," said chief executive Graham Mackay. "Despite the intensely competitive pricing environment in the US this summer, Miller has continued to invest in its brands and its organisation to strengthen its base for sustainable future growth. South Africa's strong contribution has been supported by further operational improvements as well as robust consumer growth in the local economy."

With regard to South America, in anticipation of the integration of its newest acquisition, the Latin American brewer Bavaria, the company said it was establishing a new regional management team in Bogotá.