Chief Executive’s review
The year’s results demonstrate the value of our diverse spread of businesses, our strong market positions, the strength of our brand portfolios and our focus on operational excellence.
SABMiller has once again delivered good results. Against a challenging background, we have reaped the benefits of a clear, consistent strategy and operational strengths built up over many years.
In the face of weakening consumer demand, we have maintained like-for-like lager volumes and lifted group revenue by 9% on an organic, constant currency basis while also winning share in many markets. Through strong pricing and cost management, we have raised our underlying EBITA by 5% on an organic, constant currency basis, capitalising on our strong local brands and efficient operating practices. However, the strengthening of the US dollar against our major operating currencies led to a reported EBITA of US$4,129 million, the same level as the prior year.
We measure our progress against a range of key performance indicators. Some of the most important are listed in the strategic priorities table along with our performance in each case. The Chief Financial Officer discusses our progress against these KPIs in more detail in the Chief Financial Officer’s review.
A challenging year
I stated in last year’s report that the coming 12 months would be difficult. Given that our growth over the previous two years had been almost double our normal expectations, we knew it would be hard to maintain the trajectory – particularly with the growing economic pressures on consumers. We knew, too, that rising commodity prices would lead to sharp increases in the cost of brewing materials.
Despite these challenges, we were able to deliver a creditable set of results. This can be attributed both to the resilience of the beer category and to SABMiller’s strengths within it. Beer as a whole continues to take a rising share of the alcohol market in emerging economies. We ourselves have benefited from our diverse spread of businesses, our strong market positions, a portfolio of leading local beers with strong brand equities and our focus on operational discipline and excellent sales and marketing.