Fin24

SABMiller first-half beer volumes up

2012-10-18 08:50

London - SABMiller [JSE:SAB], the world’s second-biggest brewer, posted an expected 4% rise in underlying first half beer volumes after growth across most of its regions, including Europe where sales were boosted by selective price reductions. 

The Miller Lite, Grolsch and Peroni maker, which earns 70% of its profit from fast-growing emerging markets, also reported on Thursday an 8 % rise in organic, constant currency group revenue in the six months to September.

The 4% underlying quarterly rise in beer volumes, after stripping out the effects of acquisitions, matched an analyst consensus forecast of 4% and follows a 5% volume rise in its first quarter.

Including acquisitions and disposals, total volumes were up 9%.

The 4% underlying quarterly rise in beer volumes, after stripping out the effects of acquisitions, matched an analyst consensus forecast of 4% and follows a 5% volume rise in its first quarter.

The brewer, which also makes Castle, Snow, Pilsner Urquell and Aguila beers, said that quarterly underlying volumes rose 6% in Africa, 5% in Asia-Pacific, and 1% in South Africa.

The United States, where it operates through its MillerCoors venture, remained weak, with sales to retailers falling 1.9% and sales to wholesalers down 1.2%.

In Europe, lager volumes rose by 9% helped by selective price reductions, with the Euro 2012 soccer tournament boosting Polish beer sales, and demand for its Peroni brand pushing up domestic volumes by 5% in the UK.

The London-based brewer, which has expanded rapidly over the past two decades from its South African roots, added that its recently-acquired Foster’s Australian business suffered a 13% dip in volume. The decline was partly because of the termination of some licensed brands after SABMiller’s purchase of Foster’s in December 2011.

Soft drinks volumes were 6% higher year-on-year on an organic basis.

Shares in the firm were down 1.15% in early trading.