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SABMiller PLC - Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 3182A
  SABMiller PLC
  31 July 2008


31 July 2008
SABMiller plc Trading Update

At the Annual General Meeting of SABMiller plc (SABMiller) today, Graham Mackay,
chief executive of SABMiller, commented on the group's performance for the three
months ended 30 June 2008*. The calculation of the organic growth rates detailed
below
excludes volumes for acquired businesses for the first 12 months after an
acquisition.

Mr Mackay said: 'The group recorded 1.5% growth in lager volumes. As expected
organic volume performance was subdued, with lager volumes down 1.6% following
the extraordinarily high growth of 13% in the prior year comparative period and
reflecting
lower volumes in China and the moderation of consumer spending in some markets.
Group revenue growth has remained firm and financial performance in the quarter
was in line with the group's expectations, although the challenging trading
environment in
South Africa impacted financial performance there.

'In Latin America, lager volumes for the quarter were in line with the prior
year, following double digit growth in the comparative period. However, lager
volumes in Colombia were 4% below the prior year, as retail price increases and
high consumer
lending rates continued to inhibit consumer demand. In Peru, lager volumes were
3% ahead of the prior year, with recent share gains in a market that remains
highly competitive. Our business in Ecuador delivered strong performance with
14% lager volume
growth as the market responded to the reinvigoration of the brand portfolio and
route to market.

'In Europe organic lager volume growth was 1%, following the exceptionally
strong volume growth of 17% in the prior year comparative period. Poland
achieved organic domestic volume growth of 6%, notwithstanding a challenging
comparative, driven by the
Tyskie and Zubr brands, and has increased market share. Romanian volumes grew by
22%, ahead of the market, led by the continuing success of the Timisoreana
brand. Volumes in Russia fell by 2% in a market which was estimated to be down
slightly. Czech
Republic domestic volumes declined by 10% reflecting the cooler weather in the
current year and consumer reaction to sharply increasing inflation and beer
price increases.

'In North America, pricing remained strong but Miller's US domestic volume sales
to retailers (STRs) decreased by 2.0% compared to the prior year. Miller Lite
brand volumes were 1.6% lower than the prior year, Miller High Life grew 0.9%,
Milwaukee's
Best declined 5.5% whilst STRs of the worthmore portfolio increased by 8.1% with
Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Chill, Sparks and Leinenkugel's continuing to
generate good growth.

'In our Africa and Asia business, organic lager volumes declined 4%, with China
organic volumes down 5% (prior year up 25%) affected by the earthquake in
Sichuan and consumer price inflation combined with significant beer industry
price increases. In
Africa (excluding Zimbabwe), lager volumes grew by 8% on an organic basis, with
a good start to the year across the region led by Zambia, Botswana and Angola.

'In South Africa, our lager volumes were down 3%. This reflects the strength of
volumes in the comparative period of the prior year which were up 4% and the
volume loss following the termination of a licensed premium brand with which we
now compete.
Nevertheless, current market share reflected quarter on quarter gains.  Market
volume and mix was negatively affected by softer consumer demand with retail
sales under pressure from higher interest rates and increasing food and energy
costs. Despite these
pressures, soft drink volumes grew 3%. These factors, combined with ongoing cost
inflation and the currency weakness, have impacted financial performance.

'We recently completed the acquisition of a 99.84% interest in the Ukrainian
brewer, CJSC Sarmat, which is one of the largest brewers in the Ukraine with an
annual production capacity of 2.9 million hectolitres. We also acquired the
Russian brewer LLC
Vladpivo, in June 2008. Vladpivo, the largest brewer in the Russian far-east
Primorie region, is located near the city of Vladivostok and has an annual
capacity of 1 million hectolitres. The integration of Grolsch is proceeding
well, and we have recently
acquired the US importation rights.

'On 30 June 2008 we announced the closing of the transaction with Molson Coors
Brewing Company to combine our US and Puerto Rico operations. MillerCoors, which
began operating as a combined entity on 1 July 2008, will have the scale,
resources and
distribution platform to succeed in the highly competitive US marketplace.

'On 17 July 2008 we completed a successful US$1.25 billion bond issue in two
tranches: US$550 million of 5.5-year notes with a coupon of 5.70%; and US$700
million of 10-year notes with a coupon of 6.50%. The net proceeds of the
offering will be used
to repay certain existing indebtedness.
On 28 July 2008, we announced the establishment of a Euro Medium Term Note
Programme to allow us to further diversify our sources of funding in the future,
although no notes are being issued under the programme at this time.'

* Which constitutes SABMiller's Interim Management Statement for the same
period.

Ends
Notes to editors:
SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests and
distribution agreements across six continents. The group's wide portfolio of
brands includes premium international beers such as Grolsch, Miller Genuine
Draft, Peroni
Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as market-leading local brands such
as Aguila, Castle, Miller Lite, Snow and Tyskie.  SABMiller is also one of the
largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.

In the year ended 31 March 2008, the group reported US$3,639 million in adjusted
pre-tax profit and revenue of US$21,410 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.sabmiller.com or www.newscast.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 0119
                  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

  END

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