The CEO of SABMiller has hailed the brewer's full-year figures as "very pleasing" today (19 May). Speaking to reporters in London, Graham Mackay said: "The breadth of our performance is what we're especially pleased with."

The company announced today that turnover in the year to 31 March had risen by 15% to US$14.5bn, while profit before tax leapt by 58% to US$2.19bn. EBITA (earnings before interest, tax and amortisation) rose by 27%, hitting US$2.4bn.Total lager volumes for the brewer increased by 8% compared to the same period a year earlier, to 148m hectolitres, with Europe and Africa & Asia producing strong performances.

"This has been the third successive year of remarkable volume, margin and earnings growth from SABMiller and confirms our superior long-term growth profile," said chairman Meyer Khan in a statement.

Adjusted earnings per share also increased, by 33% to 103.2 US cents.

Mackay conceded that the industry outlook for the US beer market is challenging, highlighting a weakening economy, the growth of wines and spirits to the detriment of lager, and Anheuser-Busch's price policy. "We're undeterred, however, and are investing for the long-term," he told reporters.

When questioned about future acquisition plans, Mackay would not discuss long-rumoured target, Colombia's Grupo Empresarial Bavaria, but pointed out that "there are some medium-sized (brewing) groups that won't stay independent forever - for example, Bavaria."

"It's a consolidating industry, so we see it as that," Mackay added.