Asia and Africa boost SABMiller19th January, 2011 by Alan Lodge
SABMiller reported a 3% increase in lager volumes in the quarter to December 2010, driven largely by strong growth in Asia and Africa.
Strong performances in those areas helped to counter poor figures in many of the group’s other key regions.
In South Africa lager volumes increased 3% in the three-month period, while volumes in Africa grew 12% on an organic basis if Zimbabwe is included. If Zimbabwe is excluded the growth was 8%.
“Growth was driven by ongoing momentum from our core power brand portfolio, particularly Castle Lite and Castle Lager,” the brewer said.
“Our investment in capacity and our expanding brand portfolios across the region continued to deliver robust growth.”
Favourable economic conditions in Zambia and a price reduction, following a drop in excise rates, helped to lift volumes by 38%, while both Tanzania and Uganda saw volumes increase by 10%.
SABMiller’s Asian operations also performed very strongly, witnessing a 12% increase in volumes, largely driven by China where a volume increase of 16% compensated for reduced volumes in India.
Organic lager volume, which excludes the effect of acquisitions and disposals, rose 3%.
Sales were flat in Europe, though this compares favourably with a 5% drop in the first half of the year.
In the US, MillerCoors’ domestic sales to retailers were down 2.5% in the quarter. Volumes declined in Poland, Russia, Romania and the Czech Republic, but there was growth in the UK and the Ukraine.
In Latin America, which is a major profit contributor, lager volumes were down 1%.
Alan Lodge, 19.01.2011