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SABMiller PLC - Trading Update

RNS Number:6407P
SABMiller PLC
17 January 2007


17 January 2007


                          SABMiller plc Trading Update

Following the summer peak season in its southern hemisphere operations,
SABMiller plc today issues its trading update for the group's third quarter and
for the nine months ended 31 December 2006. The calculation of the group's
organic growth rates includes volumes for Bavaria SA from 12 October 2006, 12
months after it became part of the group.

The group's organic lager volume growth for the third quarter was some 10%,
marginally ahead of growth for the year to date of 9.5%.

South Africa Beverages achieved an increase in lager volumes of almost 1% during
the quarter, in line with year to date volume growth. Lager volumes were
constrained by stock shortages resulting from temporary disruptions to both raw
material and glass supplies, in addition to disruptions in the national rail
transport network. Underlying economic performance and consumer confidence in
South Africa remain positive, contributing to continuing mix improvements,
albeit at a moderating pace. Soft drinks volumes declined by 3% in the quarter
reflecting the national shortage of carbon dioxide, and year to date soft drink
volumes are now slightly down on the prior year.

On a pro forma basis, South America lager volumes for the three months to 31
December 2006 were some 12% above the prior year and up 11% year to date. This
performance reflects continuing growth across the region with robust growth in
Peru, where market conditions remain competitive. In Colombia, the launch of
Peroni Nastro Azzurro and the relaunch of Club Colombia have been successful and
the regional volume performance also reflects a range of initiatives including
the packaging changes to Cristal in Peru. In Central America, carbonated soft
drink volumes (CSDs) were up 6% for the quarter and year to date, with growth
being achieved in both countries, whilst lager volumes were 9% higher in the
quarter, with year to date growth of 7%.

In Europe, lager volume grew some 13% during the quarter on an organic basis,
with year to date growth of over 9%. This has been driven by continuing good
performances from Poland, Russia and Romania, influenced by an exceptionally
mild winter. Worthmore volumes grew by 13% in the quarter, consistent with year
to date growth.

Miller's third quarter domestic sales to retailers (STRs) were 4.3% above the
prior year and 0.9% below prior year on an organic basis excluding Sparks and
Steel Reserve. Following management initiatives, STRs of flagship brand Miller
Lite have grown by 1.5% in the quarter. STR performance for Miller, and
particularly Miller Lite, was stronger in December. Miller's shipments to
wholesalers for the quarter grew less than STRs as distributor inventories
reduced. For the year to date, Miller's organic domestic STRs declined 2.8%
after adjusting for the number of trading days in the period (3.3% unadjusted).
Whilst Miller's December STR performance has been encouraging, supported by
increased marketing and sales programmes, price recovery and raw material costs
were more adverse in the quarter than expected.

Our Africa and Asia business delivered organic growth of 30% in lager volumes in
the quarter and 25% year to date, reflecting particularly strong growth in China
of over 30% in the quarter. In Africa (excluding Zimbabwe) lager volumes grew by
10% in the quarter and 7% year to date, with volumes in Tanzania advancing 10%
in the quarter. Strong gains were also achieved in Mozambique and Uganda, whilst
a marginal decline in lager volume was recorded in Botswana in the quarter. CSD
growth (excluding Zimbabwe) was 17% in the quarter and 21% year to date, which
was led by continuing strong growth in Angola.

The group's financial performance has been in line with our expectations
outlined at the time of the interim results announcement, despite the headwinds
experienced at Miller and in South Africa, and the comparatively weaker South
African rand/US dollar exchange rate prevailing in the quarter.


Ends


Notes to editors:

SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests or
distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. The group's
brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni
Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as an exceptional range of market
leading local brands.  Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest
bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.

In the year ended 31 March 2006, the group reported US$15,307 million in revenue
and profit before tax of $2,453 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the London
and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

This announcement is available on the company website: www.sabmiller.com

High resolution images are available for the media to view and download free of
charge from: www.vismedia.co.uk


Enquiries:
-----------------                  -----------------------    ------------------

SABMiller plc                                              Tel: +44 20 7659 0100

Sue Clark         Director of Corporate Affairs            Tel: +44 20 7659 0184

Gary Leibowitz    Senior Vice President, Investor          Tel: +44 20 7659 0174
                  Relations

Nigel Fairbrass   Head of Media Relations                  Tel: +44 7799 894265


This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or issue or the
solicitation of an offer to buy or acquire securities of SABMiller plc (the
'Company') or any of its affiliates in any jurisdiction or an inducement to
enter into investment activity.

This document includes 'forward-looking statements'. These statements may
contain the words 'anticipate', 'believe', 'intend', 'estimate', 'expect' and
words of similar meaning. All statements other than statements of historical
facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those
regarding the Company's financial position, business strategy, plans and
objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and
objectives relating to the Company's products and services) are forward-looking
statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other important factors that could cause the actual results,
performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from
future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on
numerous assumptions regarding the Company's present and future business
strategies and the environment in which the Company will operate in the future.
These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this announcement.
The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any
updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this
announcement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with regard
thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such
statement is based. Any information contained in this announcement on the price
at which the Company's securities have been bought or sold in the past, or on
the yield on such securities, should not be relied upon as a guide to future
performance.


                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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