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SABMiller first-half net profit up 13 pct, aided by acquisition of Australian brewer Foster’s

LONDON – SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer, has reported a 13 per cent increase in first-half profit driven by its acquisition of Australian brewer Foster’s.

For the six months ending Sept. 30, the brewer of brands including Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch reported Thursday that net profit rose to $1.6 billion compared to $1.4 billion a year earlier. Group revenue was up 11 per cent to $17.5 billion; in Asia Pacific, the Foster’s acquisition, completed in December, more than doubled revenue to $3 billion.

However, lager volume fell by 13 per cent in Australia, partly because of the loss of some licensed brands.

SABMiller raised its interim dividend from 21.5 cents last year to 24 cents.

SAB Miller shares were up 4.3 per cent at 2,746 pence in early trading in London.

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