Balance sheet profile
Total assets increased to US$15,228 million from the prior year’s US$13,799 million, including the effect of the acquisition of minority interests in Europe and in South Africa. There was also a net reduction of US$181 million in equity minority interests to US$638 million, reflecting the acquisitions being partially offset by the impact of higher earnings and currency movements in businesses with minority interests.
Intangible assets increased by US$309 million, due primarily to the inclusion of goodwill of US$172 million arising on the acquisition of a further 39.8% interest in Peroni and US$419 million on the acquisition of the minorities in ABI, partially offset by the amortisation for the year. Goodwill in ABI is considered to have an indefinite life (consistent with prior years), with all other goodwill being amortised over 20 years.
Net debt has decreased to US$2,196 million from US$3,025 million reflecting the increase in cash generated from operating activities, the proceeds from the disposal of investments and the conversion of the 4.25% convertible bond, partially offset by cash expended on acquisitions and the purchase of minorities in ABI and Peroni. The group again achieved its target of negative net working capital.
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