SABMiller hailed a return to growth in China in its final quarter

SABMiller hailed a return to growth in China in its final quarter

SABMiller has seen sales hold firm in its latest fiscal year, despite a flat performance in the period from North America.

In a trading update this morning, the brewer said that group sales in the 12 months to the end of March were up by 4% year-on-year, with its African operations delivering a 9% rise. Latin American sales were up by 7%, with Europe (+2%) and Asia Pacific (+1%) both increasing slightly.

In North America, however, sales in the year were flat, compared to a 2% increase in the first six months of the year.

The top-line figures mirror SABMiller's performance in the first half of the year, when sales increased by 5% and volumes were up by 1%.

In the final three months of the year, sales rose by 6%, led again by Africa, with a 12% increase. Europe came in flat, while North American sales fell by 1%.

"Our top-line performance was strong in the final quarter, driven by double-digit revenue growth in Africa and sustained growth in Latin America," said CEO Alan Clark. "Asia Pacific also returned to growth during the last three months of the year as lager volumes in China returned to growth."

SABMiller's share price was up this morning by 2.1% to GBP36.615 at 0953 BST.

The brewer will release its full results for fiscal 2014-15 on 13 May.