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SABMiller PLC - ABI Interim Results

RNS Number:4569R
SABMiller PLC
29 October 2003

                                   SABMiller plc

                       ABI GROUP UNAUDITED INTERIM RESULTS FOR
                       THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2003



Amalgamated Beverage Industries Limited, (ABI) a subsidiary of SABMiller plc,
has reported its unaudited interim results in Johannesburg for the six months
ended 30 September 2003. The text of ABI's announcement follows. It should be
noted that the interim results have been prepared to conform to South African
Statements of Generally Accepted Accounting Practice.


Highlights


  * Beverage volumes up 6%
  * Profit from operations increased by 12%
  * Adjusted headline earnings increased by 21%
  * Dividends per share increased by 21%


Commenting on the results, Mark Bowman, ABI managing director said:



A positive performance has been achieved for the half-year ended September 2003,
with beverage volumes growing 6,0% to reach 5,26 million hectolitres. This
growth can largely be attributed to increases in consumer disposable income as a
result of tax relief and interest rate cuts, the timing of Easter holidays, and
new pack and flavour innovations. Good growth in local volumes of 6,6% was
achieved, driven by 6,3% growth in mainstream carbonated soft drinks. Other soft
drinks performed well and now comprise 4,6% of total volume, up from 4,3% at the
end of the previous financial year. All customer segments contributed to the
volume performance in the first half.


Enquiries to:
Sandra Pienaar
Company secretary
Telephone: +27 11 719 1400



                    AMALGAMATED BEVERAGE INDUSTRIES LIMITED

                      (Registration Number 1970/006820/06)

                             Website: www.abi.co.za



Financial performance



Adjusted headline earnings increased by 21% compared to the prior period. This
favourable outcome was driven by volume and inflationary price increases
resulting in sales revenue growth of 13%. However, gross margins have been
suppressed by input cost increases in excess of the selling price increases, as
well as pack mix variances in favour of more affordable offerings at lower
margins. A further contributory factor is that the prior period included nine
months of trading from the Comoros Islands compared to six months results in the
current financial year. A direct comparison of results can therefore not be
made, although volume growth of 7,3% has been achieved in the Comoros Islands on
the comparable six-month period.



ABI successfully launched Bibo cordial and Vanilla Coke early in the financial
year. The 1000ml returnable bottle conversion to 1250ml has been completed in
all the ABI distribution areas, and the performance of the 300ml returnable
bottle, launched during the previous financial year, is ahead of expectation.



Sustainability



The new ABI corporate brand was launched internally to staff with the primary
objective of creating a unified culture and increasing performance. The process
is evolutionary and the implementation of the new corporate identity has
commenced.



ABI has implemented what is becoming recognised as a benchmark intervention to
address the impact of the Hiv/Aids pandemic on the organisation and its
employees.  The intervention, known as ABI Aids Awareness (AAA), focuses on
managing existing infections and reducing future infections. Employees are
actively encouraged to determine their Hiv status through voluntary counselling
and testing. Extensive communication, awareness and peer educator campaigns are
designed to encourage changes in high-risk behaviour in order to reduce future
infections of employees. ABI facilitates the availability of anti-retroviral
drugs to staff members enrolled on this programme at company cost.



ABI continued with the implementation and upgrading of its plants in terms of
the NOSA Health and Safety Programme and ISO 14001 certification. In addition,
investments in production technology have yielded positive results in product
quality improvements.



Outlook



Sales are expected to continue on a positive trend for the balance of the year.
While major input costs have remained above inflationary levels, there is an
expectation of more moderate increases in the future. In addition, further
realisation of overhead productivity should result in real earnings growth for
the full year.



Accounting policies



These results have been compiled in accordance with the South African Statements
of Generally Accepted Accounting Practice and the listings requirements of the
JSE Securities Exchange South Africa and Schedule 4 of the South African
Companies Act. The accounting policies and methods of computation used in
preparation of the interim results are consistent in all material respects with
those adopted in the annual financial statements for the year ended 31 March
2003, except for the application of AC 133, which has now been adopted.



The net effect of the change in the accounting policy on retained income was
immaterial. The Group continues to adopt a prudent approach to forward cover and
all imports are fully covered. Imports consist of glass bottles, capital
equipment and various service fees.



The external auditors have not reviewed the financial results for the half-year
ended 30 September 2003.



Declaration of dividend No.56



Notice is hereby given that on 29 October 2003, the board of directors declared
an interim dividend of 49,0 cents per share (2002: 40,4 cents) for the year
ending 31 March 2004. This dividend will be paid out of profit after tax, as
determined by the directors, to ordinary shareholders recorded as such in the
register at the close of business on the record date, Friday, 19 December 2003.
The last date to trade to participate in the dividend is Thursday, 11 December
2003. Shares will commence trading ex-dividend from Friday, 12 December 2003.



The important dates pertaining to this dividend are as follows:


Last day to trade "cum" dividend                     Thursday, 11 December 2003
Shares trade "ex" dividend                           Friday, 12 December 2003
Record date                                          Friday, 19 December 2003
Payment date                                         Monday, 22 December 2003



Share certificates may not be dematerialised or rematerialised between Friday,
12 December 2003 and Friday, 19 December 2003, both days inclusive.



GROUP BALANCE SHEET

                                                         2003                2002                2003
                                                 30 September        30 September            31 March
                                                           Rm                  Rm                  Rm
                                                  (Unaudited)         (Unaudited)           (Audited)
ASSETS
Non-current assets
Property, plant and equipment                           1 618               1 516               1 514
Goodwill                                                1 145               1 224               1 185
Investment in an associate                                221                 195                 216
Deferred tax                                               63                  69                  69
                                                        3 047               3 004               2 984
Current assets
Inventories                                               325                 257                 270
Trade and other receivables                               285                 302                 298
Prepayments                                               101                  23                  29
Cash                                                      462                 311                 773
                                                        1 173                 893               1 370
Total assets                                            4 220               3 897               4 354


EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

Capital and reserves
Issued capital and share premium                        1 608               1 599               1 599
Non-distributable reserves                                (3)                   5                   2
Accumulated profit                                      1 492               1 251               1 652
Ordinary shareholders' funds                            3 097               2 855               3 253


Minority interest                                          24                  17                  21
Total shareholders' funds                               3 121               2 872               3 274
Interest bearing debt                                       7                   -                  11
Non-current liabilities
Deferred tax                                              133                 126                 130
Deferred income                                            81                  97                  89
Retirement benefit obligation                              28                  22                  25
                                                          242                 245                 244
Current liabilities
Trade and other payables                                  962                 860                 757
Taxation                                                (112)                (80)                  68
                                                          850                 780                 825
Total equity and liabilities                            4 220               3 897               4 354

Future capital expenditure
Contracted                                                 29                  78                  76
Authorised by the directors but not yet                   177                  91                 401
contracted


GROUP INCOME STATEMENT

                                                 2003               2002     % Change              2003
                                            Half year          Half year                           Year
                                         30 September       30 September                       31 March
                                                   Rm                 Rm                             Rm
                                          (Unaudited)        (Unaudited)                      (Audited)

Revenue                                         2 349              2 068           14             5 015

Sales revenue                                   2 294              2 031           13             4 933
Cost of sales                                 (1 499)            (1 309)                        (3 041)
Gross profit                                      795                722                          1 892
Expenses                                        (569)              (521)                        (1 028)
Profit from operations                            226                201           12               864
Goodwill amortisation                            (40)               (39)                           (78)
Net finance income                                 40                 25                             56
Profit before tax                                 226                187                            842
Income tax expense                              (110)               (25)                          (242)
Current taxation                                 (69)               (69)                          (276)
Deferred tax                                      (6)                 69                             65
Secondary tax on companies                       (35)               (25)                           (31)
Profit after tax                                  116                162                            600
Income from associate                              18                 15                             47
Minority interest                                 (5)                (7)                           (15)
Net profit for the period                         129                170                            632


Reconciliation of headline
earnings (Rm)
Net profit for the period                         129                170         (24)               632
Loss / (profit) on disposal of                      1                  -                            (1)
fixed assets after tax
Goodwill amortisation                              40                 39                             78
Headline earnings                                 170                209         (19)               709
Deferred tax adjustment due to                      -               (69)                           (69)
assessed loss
Adjusted headline earnings                        170                140           21               640
Earnings per share (cents)
Attributable earnings                              85                112         (24)               416
Headline earnings                                 112                138         (19)               466

Adjusted headline earnings                        112                 92           22               421
Dividends per share (cents)                      49,0               40,4           21               230
Net asset value per share                        2053               1889                           2154
(cents)
Number of ordinary shares in                      152                152                            152
issue (million)

GROUP CASH FLOW STATEMENT

                                                          2003                 2002               2003
                                                     Half year            Half year               Year
                                                  30 September         30 September           31 March
                                                            Rm                   Rm                 Rm
                                                   (Unaudited)          (Unaudited)          (Audited)

Profit from operations                                     226                  201                864
Depreciation                                               108                   78                180
Non-cash items                                              24                   15                 34
Decrease in working capital                                 88                  108                 59
Cash generated from operations                             446                  402              1 137

Dividend income received                                    13                   12                 23
Normal tax paid                                          (244)                (207)              (266)
Secondary tax on companies paid                           (35)                 (25)               (31)
Net cash inflow from operating activities                  180                  182                863

Finance income received                                     46                   25                 53
Finance costs paid                                         (3)                    -                (3)
Dividends paid                                           (290)                (216)              (277)
Net cash (utilised) / retained                            (67)                  (9)                636

Cash flow from investment activities
Investment to maintain and upgrade                       (135)                 (48)              (127)
operations
Proceeds on the disposal of assets                          26                   18                 33
Investment to expand operations                          (139)                (100)              (227)
Net cash invested                                        (248)                (130)              (321)


Cash flow due to finance activities
(Decrease) / increase in long term loans                   (2)                    -                 11
Currency translation reserve                                 2                    -                  -
Share capital issued                                         9                    -                  -
Net cash received                                            9                    -                 11

Net (decrease) / increase in cash                        (306)                (139)                326

Analysis of movement in cash
Balance at the beginning of the year                     (773)                (450)              (450)
Currency translation reserve                                 5                    -                  3
Balance at the end of the period                           462                  311                773
                                                         (306)                (139)                326



STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY

                       Ordinary Ordinary Non-distributable  Accumulated       Ordinary  Minority           Total
                          share    share          reserves       profit   shareholders' interests  shareholders'
                                 premium                                          funds                    funds
                        capital
                       Rm             Rm                 Rm           Rm             Rm        Rm             Rm

Balance at 31 March           1    1 598                  5        1 297          2 901        10          2 911
2002

Net profit for the            -        -                  -          170            170         7            177
period

Dividend                      -        -                  -        (216)          (216)         -          (216)

Balance at 30                 1    1 598                  5        1 251          2 855        17          2 872
September 2002

Foreign currency              -        -                (4)            -            (4)       (3)            (7)
translation
differences

Capital reserves              -        -                  1            -              1         -              1

Net profit for the            -        -                  -          462            462         8            470
period

Dividend                      -        -                  -         (61)           (61)       (1)           (62)

Balance at 31 March           1    1 598                  2        1 652          3 253        21          3 274
2003


Premium on issue of           -        9                  -            -              9         -              9
share capital used for
share options

Foreign currency              -        -                (5)            -            (5)       (2)            (7)
translation
differences

Net profit for the            -        -                  -          129            129         5            134
period

Dividend                      -        -                  -        (289)          (289)         -          (289)

Balance at 30                 1    1 607                (3)        1 492          3 097        24          3 121
September 2003




By order of the board

MJ Bowman                                                     DLT Dondur
Managing director                                          Financial director

29 October 2003


Directorate and administration



Chairman E A G Mackay (Non-executive)


Independent directors

M P Adonisi
P M Bester

Non-executive director

J A Mabuza
M I Wyman (British)

Executive directors

MJ Bowman (Managing director)
E M Borcherds
DLT Dondur
T K Gibbon
M J Hoy
HBB Lloyd
TC Sanderson

Company secretary

S Pienaar

Registered office

ABI House
14 Pongola Crescent
Eastgate Extension 17
Sandton 2199
P O Box 76202
Wendywood 2144
South Africa

Transfer secretaries

Computershare Limited
70 Marshall Street
Johannesburg 2001
PO Box 61051
Marshalltown 2107
South Africa



                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
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