Toasting success or drowning sorrows?

Full-year results show that momentum for the group slowed. Should we
extrapolate that into the future?

We think we’ve had very good results this year. We’ve got comparable
earnings-per-share up 11% and growth in organic constant currency earnings up
9%. We think that’s a very good result, particularly considering that we are
coming off a very high base.

We’ve had two years of fantastic growth, where we have had high rates of 20%
per annum in organic constant currency earnings. Also we’ve had
earnings-per-share in the 30s and 40s. So today’s results, for the financial
2006 year, I think are very good.

If you look at what underpins that, you’ll see that our major operations,
South Africa, for example, and Europe, both had growth in organic constant
currency terms of about 14% and 11% in Africa and Asia.
So there’s momentum in the business. That was able to carry some negatives from
the Americas, in North America and Central America, to give us those results.

You had a lower effective tax rate in fiscal 2006. Should we regard
the underlying EPS as lower therefore?

By and large, what has an impact on the effective tax rate is the mix of our
profits. We get profits from some high tax jurisdictions and we get profits from
lower tax jurisdictions. And it just so happens in the course of this last
financial year, there were a number of issues which caused that tax rate to go

The first one was the mix of profits. Miller’s profits were lower, and Miller
is a very high tax rate country.

On the other hand, Europe’s profits were higher and in Europe we have
countries that are at the lower end of tax rates.

So if you take the mix of benefits, you add on some tax planning benefits
that we had implemented during the year, we have ended up with a slightly lower
tax rate than you would have seen last year.

How do you see the role of M&A in the group’s corporate d

Of course, we have a major business with a large global footprint and we are
concentrating on delivering the best results we can get out of that. But I think
we all know that we’ve reached a fairly advanced stage in the consolidation of
the brewing industry.

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