Challenging 2007 leads to flat profits at S&N

19 February, 2008

Scottish & Newcastle's revenue rose 7.9 per cent to £4.15 billion last year, despite "substantial challenges" from bad summer weather and an approach from the Heineken Carlsberg consortium.

Delivering what is expected to be its final set of full year figures as an independent company, the brewer reported pre-tax profits of £444 million for the year ending 31 Dec 2007, no rise on the previous year.

The company's cider brands, which include Strongbow and Bulmers Original, put in an "excellent performance" for the Edinburgh-based brewer with volume sales up 15 per cent in the UK, but overall branded beer and cider volumes rose 0.1 per cent with the company growing its share of the beer market in the off-trade by just 0.6 per cent.

Chief executive John Dunsmore said: ”In the face of substantial challenges in terms of unprecedented bad summer weather, the UK smoking ban and the distraction of the consortium approach, it is very encouraging that S&N’s outstanding portfolio of brands and leading market positions has still delivered revenue growth of 7.9 per cent and operating profit growth of 5.7 per cent."

S&N's board finally agreed to a takeover bid from the consortium of Carlsberg and Heineken at the end of January approving an improved bid of £8 share, and valuing the company at £7.8bn.

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