SABMiller has posted a healthy rise in sales for its full year. The brewer's results, released today (18 May), saw a dip in profit before tax, although income excluding exceptional credits in the prior year also rose.

The full-year figures, which for the first time included results from Bavaria, acquired late last year, showed that revenue in the 12-month period to 31 March increased by 19% year-on-year, coming in at US$15.3bn. In volume terms, the group enjoyed a 19% increase to 176m hectolitres, a 5% climb in organic growth.

Profit before tax, however, was hit by net exceptional credits in the prior year of US$415m, resulting in a 4% drop to US$2.45bn. Stripping this out, though, led to net profit increasing by 18% to US$2.62bn.

"This was another year of good growth in volumes, margins and earnings reflecting the growth profile that the group has built over the years," said group chairman Meyer Kahn. "Our track record reflects well-judged acquisitions and investments, successful integration and subsequent operational improvements."

In North America, SABMiller's Miller subsidiary brought in flat revenue for the period of US$4.9bn. The group warned of rising costs in the area, as commodity prices, such as that for aluminium, increased significantly in the year. SABMiller said that Miller maintained firmer year-on-year pricing than its other competitors in the market. EBITA fell in the continent by 7%.

Latin America - including South America - performed in line with group expectations, with group revenue registering organic growth of US$18m to US$521m. The results included five-and-a-half months' worth of figures from Bavaria, which SABMiller bought in October last year. SABMiller said it believes South America presents "significant opportunities... to create further value by leveraging SABMiller expertise."

While Europe produced a 12% increase in sales, reaching US$3.2bn, South Africa performed less impressively, with group revenue rising 5% to US$4.2bn. EBITA in the country rose 11% year-on-year to US$1.06bn.

"Looking forward," Kahn concluded, "a key focus will be on ensuring that we continue to nurture and build brands which are the first choice of consumers."