• FY net sales drop 10% to US$19.8bn
  • Operating profits (EBITA) down 9% to $5.8bn
  • Underlying trends strong, with organic sales up 7%
  • Beer volumes edge up 1%
  • Soft drinks volumes up 6%
SABMiller has stuggled against currency headwinds

SABMiller has stuggled against currency headwinds

SABMiller has posted a big drop in full-year sales and operating profits as currency headwinds and impairment charges in Africa hit the top line.

Net sales dropped by 10% to US$19.8bn in the 12 months to the end of March, SABMiller said in a preliminary trading statement today. The declines followed a one-off charge of $721m due to an impairment on investments in Angola and South Sudan, together with costs associated with the Anheuser-Busch InBev takeover.

However, underlying trends for the beer and soft drinks maker remained strong, with organic constant currency sales increasing by 7%. Operating profits were similarly affected - on a reported basis EBITA was down 9% to $5.8bn, however they grew by 8% organically.

For a look at SABMiller's full-year performance on a regional basis, click here

"These are good results,"said SABMiller CEO Alan Clark. "This performance reflects our focus on driving superior growth by strengthening our core brands, expanding the beer category to reach more consumers on more occasions and placing an emphasis on premiumisation in all regions. As noted through the year, the strengthening dollar against our operating currencies had a material negative impact on reported results."

Clark also said the company grew EBITA across all regions and improved FY group EBITA on an underlying basis. Meanwhile, soft drinks volumes increased by 6% ahead of SABMiller's deal with The Coca-Cola Co and Coca-Cola Sabco to create the Coca-Cola Beverages Africa bottler. South African regulators this month gave their assent to the deal, which will create the tenth biggest bottler network in the world.

SABMiller's share price was relatively unchanged in morning trading today. The company is expected to be bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev this year once regulatory approval is received.

Today's results come after SABMiller released a FY sales update last month.

To read the company's official results release, click here.