Africa Offsets SABMiller’s Poor Results in Europe

British drinks firm SABMiller reported rising sales in the third quarter of its financial year as business in emerging markets offset a poor performance in Europe, in a statement on Tuesday.

A production line at a SABMiller plant. In Latin America and Africa, sales rose by five per cent and eight per cent respectively. PHOTO | FILE.

Sales grew by four per cent in the three months to the end of December, compared with the outcome in the same period of the previous fiscal year, said a trading update from the maker of Grolsch and Peroni Nastro Azzuro beers.

In Latin America and Africa, sales rose by five per cent and eight per cent respectively.

Revenues grew six per cent in Asia Pacific and by seven per cent in South Africa.

However, North American revenues added just one per cent, while Europe posted a six per cent decline on the back of challenging market conditions.

“Growth in the third quarter was driven by our emerging market businesses where we are successfully targeting new consumers … across our brand portfolios,” said chief executive Alan Clark in the statement.

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

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

Total beverage volumes meanwhile grew two per cent in the reporting period, with lager volumes rising one per cent and soft drinks volumes gaining seven per cent.

SABMiller, which is listed in London and Johannesburg, produces well-known beer brands including Foster’s, Grolsch, Miller Lite, Peroni Nastro Azzuro and Pilsner Urquell.

The group had announced in December that its chairman and former chief executive Graham Mackay had died following an illness.

South African national Mackay, 64, had stepped down as chief executive last April after undergoing surgery for a brain tumour.

– Daily Nation