Updates from SABMiller, United Utilities and Dairy Crest

Yesterday was a sea of red: the FTSE 100 sank -2.53% following fresh fears of Greece exiting the euro. The biggest plungers were miners Vedanta Resources, down -9.12% and Kazakhmys, down -7.86%.

In Europe, the French Cac 40 sank even further than the FTSE, down -2.62%. Grim factory data from China saw Asian stocks sink further overnight.
First off today, brewer SABMiller. Reported group revenue climbs 11% for the full year - much of it driven by emerging markets - with organic, constant currency group revenue growth of 7%. Full year dividends per share climbs 12% to 91 US cents. However Europe saw lager volumes fall -1%.

"Strong profit growth continued," says SABMiller chairman Meyer Kahn, "driven by an organic total volume increase of 4% and complemented by favourable mix and pricing."

"We continued to expand our global footprint with the acquisition of Foster's, the merger of our Russian and Ukrainian businesses with Anadolu Efes in exchange for a stake in the enlarged business, and the further development of our alliance with Castel."

Next, a pre-tax profits slip for United Utilities. Full-year pre-tax profits slide from £327.1m from last year to £280.4m this year with earnings per share slipping to 46.4p compared to more than 67p a year ago. However underlying profits after tax saw a slight rise to £240.9m.

"We have delivered another good set of results, despite the tough economic climate," says Steve Mogford, chief exec. "In line with our dividend policy of targeting annual growth of 2% above RPI inflation, we have proposed a final dividend of 21.34 pence per share, an increase of 6.7%. This takes the total dividend for the 2011/12 financial year to 32.01 pence per share."

Lastly, Dairy Crest. Revenues climb 2% to £1,632m while adjusted profits before tax are slightly down at £87.4m compared to £87.6m a year ago. Adjusted basic earnings per share climb 5% to 49.4p from 47.1p.Sales of five key brands are up 11% with record market share reported for Cathedral City and St Hubert in the fourth quarter.

"We have," says chief exec Mark Allen, "maintained adjusted Group profits despite facing inflationary cost pressures of around £80 million this year by making annualised cost savings of around £22 million and achieving selling price increases."T

"This has been made possible by a programme of consistent investment in developing our key brands and building a modern, efficient supply chain."

Read Full Story