SABMiller Enjoys Near 50% Jump in Net Profits

One-time gain boosts first-half numbers.

Britain-based brewer SABMiller, maker of Miller Lite and Coors Light beers, said Thursday that first-half net profit soared by almost 50% owing to a large exceptional gain on the balance sheet.

SABMiller said in a results statement that net profit surged by 48.5% to $1.423 billion (1.139 billion euros) in the six months to Sept. 30, compared with the performance during the same period in 2007.

However, interim profits were skewed by a one-off $437-million gain from the combination of its U.S. and Puerto Rico Miller operations with a joint venture operated alongside U.S. company Molson Coors Brewing.

"Exceptional prior year volume growth and weakening consumer demand in certain markets presented a challenging start to the year," SABMiller Chief Executive Graham Mackay said in the earnings release. "However, we have continued to drive revenue growth and offset higher input costs through firm pricing while protecting volumes and increasing share in some key markets."

SABMiller added that group sales increased by 4% to $11.166 billion in the first half.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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