SABMiller remains broadly optimistic about its prospects in Africa

SABMiller expects the disruption it has faced in some African markets to “moderate”, but Zimbabwe is likely to still prove problematic.

The company reported a slight slowdown in full-year sales and operating profits on the prior year in the continent as external factors affected a number of markets. In Zambia, for example, the company had to grapple with a 50% increase in excise tax. This measure had a “severe impact on volumes” in the country.

In Mozambique, political and social unrest also affected the market. But the company thinks that problems will be resolved.

In Zimbabwe, the country's on-going economic problems appear not to be improving and the country will remain difficult.

Global brewers are increasingly looking to Africa as a source of growth as developed markets remain largely stagnant. Despite its issues, SABMiller still saw its latest full-year operating profits in the region grow by 12%.

The company is also expanding its brewery operations in Nigeria and Ghana.