Africa and Asia drive SABMiller results

Beer giant SABMiller’s Q3 results were pushed upwards thanks to growing sales in Africa, Asia and Latin America the group has announced.

Nigeria beer SABMiller

Increased capacity in Nigeria helped supply demand for the Hero and Trophy brands.

The brewer released its third quarter results for the period ending 31 December 2013 today (Tuesday 21 January), announcing a net producer revenue up 4% and sales volume up 2%.

Alan Clark, chief executive of SABMiller, commented: “Growth in the third quarter was driven by our emerging businesses where we are successfully targeting new consumers through affordability and premiumisation initiatives across our brand portfolios.

“The combination of pricing and volume growth, particularly in Africa, Latin America and China, supported net producer revenue growth of 4%.

“This was in spite of continued weakness in consumer sentiment, which particularly impacted our European and North American businesses.”

Net producer revenue (NPR) in Latin America grew 5% in the third quarter. Colombia saw volume growth of 1% while Peru held steady on the back of last year despite rising excise duty.

Ecuador’s volume growth was 4%, driven by Pilsener Light while in Central America, lager volumes grew by 3% thanks to large pack sales in El Salvador and the strong performance of Miller Lite in Panama and Honduras.

NPR in Africa grew by 8% in Q3 on an organic basis, volume growth was 5%. Tanzania and Zambia were strong performers with respective volume growths of 3% and 12%.

South Africa was an important market for the group, particularly the premium portfolio where Castle Lite and Castle Milk Stout saw a combined 10% increase.

Political unrest in Mozambique had an adverse effect on sales there and there were small declines in Uganda and Zimbabwe too but increased capacity at the group’s Nigerian breweries supported positive growth for its Hero and Trophy lager brands.

Asia Pacific’s NPR grew 6% organically in the period, slight losses in Australia offset by volume growth of 13% in China and lower volumes in India were counteracted by “favourable” pricing.

North America and Europe were the most challenging markets, NPR declining 6% in Europe with lager volumes down 5%.

Volumes in the UK were up 9% led by Peroni Nastro Azzuro thanks to an increase in distribution but Italy, Poland and Romania saw tougher trading conditions.

MillerCoors’ NPR went up 1% in the US, and its Miller Lite and Coors Light brands saw small, single-digit volume falls.

SABMiller concluded that its financial performance was “in line with expectations”.

It also announced that on 18 December chairman Graham Mackay died and the board has appointed John Manser as chairman with immediate effect.

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