The drinks firm posted a 13% drop in first-half net profits even though revenues increased by 2% over the same period. Poor weather in China took a portion of the blame for the falling earnings, and intense competition in Australia also impacted the bottom line. SABMiller acquired Fosters in 2011 for AUD $9.9 billion but since the takeover, sales have been in decline and the deal hasn’t been as fruitful as originally thought.
SABMiller is still encountering falling sales in Europe; Italy, Turkey, and Romania were the worst performers in the region, but sales growth in the Czech Republic, UK and Poland has been on the rise. In terms of regions, Europe registered a 2% drop in operating profits, but Africa and Latin American are still growing, and the two continents continue to be a success for the company.
In September, SABMiller made an offer for Heineken, but the Dutch brewer knocked it back, and many traders were of the mind that SABMiller would rather takeover another company than be taken over. Anheuser-Busch InBev is the world’s biggest brewer by volumes, and there is speculation it has its eyes set on SABMiller; if the South African-based firm show weakness, it could find itself a target.
When SABMiller reveals its full-year numbers, the market is expecting revenue of $24.57 billion and adjusted net income of $3.91 billion. These forecasts represent a 50% rise in full-year revenues and a 1.2% rise in adjusted net income. The drinks company will also reveal its second-half numbers on the same report, and the market is expecting $11.75 billion, and adjusted net income of $1.9 billion. This compares with the first-half revenue and adjusted net income of $17.86 billion and $1.98 billion respectively.
Investment banks are bullish on SABMiller, and out of the 35 ratings, 11 are buys, 17 are holds, and seven are holds. The average target price is £37.54, and that is 7% above the current price. Equity analysts are also bullish on Diageo, and out of the 35 recommendations, 12 are buys, 15 are holds, and three are sells. The average target price is £19.56, which is 11% above the current price.
The share price has been losing ground since hitting an all-time high in March, and £34 is providing support. If that level is maintained the resistance at £36 will be the target, and beyond that the record high of £37.88 will be the next target. If price moves below £34, next on the radar will be £33, and if that level is punctured then £32 will be in play.