Foster's owner SABMiller reported a 5 per cent drop in sales volumes in Australia over the past year but notched up 3 per cent growth in the fourth quarter, boosted in particular by the relaunch of Victoria Bitter.
The London-based beer giant, which generates the lion's share of its revenues from emerging markets in Latin America and Africa, on Thursday reported a 10 per cent increase in group revenue to $US34.5 billion for the year to March 31, although profit before tax decreased 16 per cent to $US4.7 billion.
SAB blamed the profit drop on exceptional items, which had boosted the previous year's results. SAB experienced particularly strong revenue and profit growth in Latin America and Asia-Pacific during the year, with signs in Australia that the Foster's business, bought by SAB in 2011, was starting to turn around. SAB restored the original alcohol volume of VB after it had been watered down by its previous owner - a move that went down badly with its predominantly male drinkers.