Beverage Industries (ABI)
The South African consumer environment improved during
the second half of the year under review, assisted by a strengthening
of the rand and favourable tax measures in the recent Government
budget. Against this background ABI succeeded in delivering
good results, through volume growth and overhead productivity
Sales volume grew 5% in the year: 4.1% in CSDs, and 22.3%
in other soft drinks. This strong growth was a function
of the good weather conditions, continued improvement in
market execution, and organic as well as market share growth
in certain areas of the expanding other soft drinks category.
Increased input costs and the adverse effect of mix changes
towards lower margin returnable glass packs were countered
by strong productivity gains, leading to
a 24% increase in EBITA.
Appletiser recorded a significantly increased trading
profit, building upon last year's successes with further volume
growth in all markets other than the United Kingdom. Focused
brand activity to increase consumer awareness and Appletiser
brand equity in the United Kingdom has recently been implemented.
Sales volumes in the remaining international markets grew
10%. Combined volumes for Appletiser and Grapetiser grew 16%
in South Africa.
The group's 30% equity accounted listed associate, Distell,
achieved sales volume growth in its domestic and international
markets. Operating profit was significantly better, assisted
by favourable sales mix at improved overall margins.