Johannesburg - SABMiller plc (SAB) said on Tuesday that lager volumes for the third quarter were 2% ahead of the prior year and soft drinks volumes were 3% higher‚ both on an organic basis.
Releasing its interim management statement for the quarter ended December 2012‚ SABMiller said group revenue grew by 8% in the third quarter and group revenue per hectolitre was up by 5%‚ both on an organic constant currency basis‚ reflecting selective price increases and helped by improved brand mix in most regions.
On a reported basis‚ including the effect of acquisitions and disposals‚ total volumes were up 6% and group revenue was up 17% compared with the third quarter of the prior year.
“Overall‚ financial performance for the quarter was in line with our expectations‚” the brewer said.
In Latin America the third quarter saw improved growth‚ with lager volumes up 6%.
Europe lager volumes were up 1% on an organic basis‚ with some beer markets impacted by depressed consumer confidence.
MillerCoors domestic sales to retailers (STRs) declined 1.1% in the quarter on a trading day adjusted basis. Premium light brand volumes were down low single digits‚ as low single digit growth in Coors Light was offset by a mid single digit decline in Miller Lite. In Africa lager volumes grew by 4% on an organic basis‚ cycling double digit volume growth in the prior year. Most markets continued to grow strongly.
Lager volumes in Asia Pacific declined by 1% on an organic basis (which excludes Australia volumes altogether)‚ largely as a result of subdued volumes in China‚ which declined 3%‚ due mainly to an exceptionally cold and wet winter across the country.
In South Africa‚ lager volumes grew by 3% despite a challenging economic and trading environment. In the face of strong competition‚ the mainstream brand portfolio grew in aggregate with Castle Lager performing particularly well. Castle Lite‚ the group’s principal premium offering‚ continued its strong performance with more than 20% growth.
Targeted brand investments as well as improved retail execution and customer service continued to have a positive impact.
Soft drinks volumes declined by 3% following a price increase on some packs in November 2012‚ partially offset by growth in still drinks‚ SABMiller said. - I-Net Bridge