SABMiller lager, soft drink volumes up

2012-07-26 14:37

Johannesburg - Global brewing giant SABMiller [JSE:SAB] (SAB) said on Thursday that for the group's first quarter ended June 2012‚ on an organic basis‚ lager drinks volumes were up 5% and soft drinks volumes were up 6%.

The calculation of the organic growth rates excludes the impact of acquisitions and disposals on volumes and revenues‚ the company said in its Interim Management Statement for the first quarter.

The group said a number of board changes would become effective on July 26.

Meyer Kahn would retire as chairman after 46 years of service with the group.

Graham Mackay would become executive chairman‚ before becoming non-executive chairman at the annual general meeting in 2013.

Alan Clark would be appointed as chief operating officer with the intention that he will succeed Graham Mackay as chief executive at the annual general meeting in 2013.

John Manser will become deputy chairman of the board‚ and Rob Pieterse will retire as an independent non-executive director.

In addition Sue Clark succeeded Alan Clark as the managing director of SABMiller Europe in June 2012.

Organic‚ constant currency group revenue grew by 8% for the quarter‚ with group revenue per hectolitre up by 3% on the same basis reflecting selective price increases and improved mix in most regions.

Including the effect of acquisitions and disposals‚ total volumes were up 10% compared with the corresponding quarter of the prior year.

“The group's financial performance for the quarter was in line with our expectations‚” SABMiller said.

In Latin America healthy growth continued with lager volumes up 6%.

In Central America lager volumes grew by 7% with continuing pack initiatives in Honduras and El Salvador and strong consumer marketing campaigns.

In Europe lager volumes were up 7% on an organic basis.

“While volumes increased in Hungary and Slovakia‚ volumes were depressed in SABMiller’s Western European markets due to a combination of poor weather and weak economic conditions‚” SABMiller said.

MillerCoors' US domestic sales to retailers (STRs) were down 1.4% in the quarter‚ and the Tenth and Blake division saw double digit growth driven by Leinenkugel's‚ particularly the notable success of Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy‚ and the continued growth of Blue Moon.

The company said Africa delivered a strong performance with lager volume growth of 9% on an organic basis‚ despite cycling strong comparatives.

Lager volumes in Asia Pacific grew by 7% in the first quarter of the year on an organic basis.

And in China‚ lager volume growth was 5% on an organic basis cycling substantial growth in the comparable period of the prior year.

Volumes were up 24% in India with particularly strong growth in Andhra Pradesh‚ cycling the last quarter of trading restrictions in the state‚ and high single digit growth across the other states combined.

The company noted that the Australian lager industry continued to be affected by the loss of market share to other alcoholic beverages together with subdued consumer sentiment leading to a significant reduction in volumes.

In South Africa lager volumes grew by 1% against a backdrop of slowing consumer spending and despite the adverse impact of the timing of the Easter peak period.

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