S&N drinks to boosted profits

15-08-2006

Scottish and Newcastle has announced a 12 per cent rise in pre-tax half-year profits, with the firm enjoying an upturn in popularity of its branded beer and cider in the UK.

Britain's largest brewer, which counts John Smiths, Courage, Newcastle Brown and Theakstons among its roster, has revealed its profits increased to £187 million in the six months to June 30th, compared to £167 million in the corresponding period last year.

Group revenue went up by six per cent to £1.944 billion, while earnings per share climbed 11 per cent.

Branded beer and cider sales rose by more than seven per cent during the last half-year, with the group's chief executive, Tony Froggatt, admitting that the firm was still experiencing the benefits of the World Cup.

"The World Cup clearly had a positive impact on our volume performance in the UK, but at the same time the impact on other European markets was negligible," he said.

But Mr Froggatt claimed, however, that although the thirst-quenching high temperatures in July had been "more or less offset by the adverse weather in the preceding months".

Sir Brian Stewart, Scottish and Newcastle chairman, commented that healthy growth in the UK had not been replicated across Europe, although the firm remained hopeful that continental sales would catch up with British levels.

"The UK business is clearly continuing to outperform the market; we are seeing early positive signs after taking action in France, and our strong brand portfolio across western Europe is driving growth," he said.


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