The Chairman, Jan du Plessis, commented “The year has clearly got off to a great start, with profit growth in all our regions. While the normal caveats about not reading too much into any particular quarter still apply, the Group’s unrivalled spread of business between developed and developing markets should continue to serve shareholders well.”
The reported profit from operations was 18 per cent higher at £807 million with a similar increase if exceptional items are excluded. All regions contributed to this strong result. Profit from operations, excluding exceptional items, would have been 10 per cent higher at comparable rates of exchange.
The reported Group revenue increased by 14 per cent to £2,541 million as a result of favourable exchange, improved pricing and a better product mix. Revenue would have increased by 6 per cent at comparable rates of exchange.
Group volumes from subsidiaries were 158 billion, an increase of 1 per cent, mainly as a result of the good performances by the four Global Drive Brands, which achieved overall volume growth of 23 per cent with around one third of the rise coming from brand migrations.
Adjusted diluted earnings per share rose by 17 per cent, principally as a result of the strong growth in profit from operations and favourable exchange movements. Basic earnings per share were higher at 29.92p (2007: 24.24p).