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SABMiller plc Shares Rally As Revenue Climbs 4%

The shares of SABMiller (LSE: SAB) jumped 137p to 3,175p during early trade this morning after the drinks group said its revenue had advanced by 4% during the six months to 30 September.

The FTSE 100 member, which owns brands such as Grolsch, Peroni and Pilsner, confirmed volumes had advanced by 2% during the half-year, with lager up 1% and soft drinks up 5%.

The blue chip also said its second-quarter revenues had gained 6% versus a 2% uplift experienced during the first quarter.

SABMiller reported mixed sales performances throughout its first half.

Sales climbed 5% in Latin America, 7% in South Africa, 11% in the rest of Africa and 2% in Asia. However, European sales dipped 1% while revenue in North America was unchanged.

Alan Clark, the chief executive of SABMiller, said:

Following a challenging start to the year, trading conditions in Europe and North America saw a modest improvement in the second quarter, although the consumer environments here are expected to remain under pressure.

Despite current prevailing uncertainties about developing market economies, we remain confident in the long term growth prospects for the group.

Mr Clark added that the group’s financial performance was in line with expectations.

Prior to today, City experts were forecasting SABMiller’s current-year earnings to improve 7% to 163p per share and the group’s dividend to increase 10% to 70p per share.

Following this morning’s market reaction, the shares may trade at a possible P/E of 19.5 and yield a potential 2.2%.

Of course, whether that valuation, today's trading update and the general prospects for global lager sales all currently combine to make SABMiller a 'buy' right now is something only you can decide.

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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.