SABMiller posts 1 percent earnings rise, sees more tough trading

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - SABMiller reported a 1 percent rise in full-year earnings on Thursday, hurt by foreign exchange rates, and forecast another year of tough trading.

As the maker of Peroni and Miller Lite beers grapples with slower growth in mature markets and volatile trading in some emerging markets, it is working hard to cut costs.

It announced a new cost-cutting programme, aimed at saving $500 million (296.12 million pounds) a year by fiscal 2018. That is on the back of another programme it just completed that shaved nearly the same amount.

In the fiscal year to 31 March, SABMiller narrowly surpassed analysts' expectations by reporting earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) that rose 1 percent to $6.45 billion and net revenue that fell 1 percent to $26.72 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting EBITDA of $6.41 billion and revenue of $26.93 billion, according to a consensus supplied by the company.

The depreciation of currencies including the Australian dollar, South African rand, Turkish lira and Colombian peso reduced EBITDA by about $400 million, the company said.

SABMiller already reported full-year sales volume growth of 2 percent, with lager volume up 1 percent and soft drink volume up 5 percent.

The company said it expects trading conditions to remain broadly unchanged, with growth driven by developing markets though impacted by currency movements.

The company also expects to continue to raise prices on some products as raw material costs are expected to rise at a low single-digit rate.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller in London; Editing by David Holmes and William Hardy)

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