The London-based international brewing group, SABMiller, has posted a pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of September of $374m, up 24% from $302m in the first six months of 2001.

The company said that adjusted pre-tax profit was $491m, ahead of analysts' forecasts which had ranged between $417m and $470m. The six-month figures were boosted by a three-month contribution from Miller which the company acquired in July for $5.6 billion.

"Whilst Miller had a difficult three months to September 30, we are confident that it will live up to our long term expectations and will deliver synergies for the group in excess of the initial estimate of US$50m in year three," said the group's CEO, Graham Mackay

Group turnover at SABMiller rose from $2.18 billion to $3.98 billion, while turnover excluding Miller increased from $2.18 billion to $2.67 billion. SABMiller reported that group EBITA had risen from $365m to $553m, while EBITA excluding Miller had risen from $365m to $456m.