• FY sales rise by 7% in organic terms, by 10% in reported terms
  • Lager volumes in 12 months to end of March up by 3%, soft drinks up by 4%
  • Europe delivers 6% lift in full-year volumes
  • China returns to healthier growth as poor weather subsides
Some joy - finally - in Europe for SABMiller in its FY update

Some joy - finally - in Europe for SABMiller in its FY update

SABMiller has said that its latest fiscal full-year performed in line with expectations, as sales delivered a year-on-year increase of 7% in value terms.

In a trading update earlier today (18 April), the brewer said that lager and soft drink volumes in the 12 months to the end of March rose by 3% and 4%, respectively, with Europe being the surprise performer. The region, which posted a 1% lift in Q3 volumes, saw full-year lager volumes come in 6% up on the corresponding period a year earlier.

SABMiller highlighted “successful launches of brand and pack innovations” in Europe for the volumes rise.

Factoring in acquisitions and disposals – including the purchase of Foster's in 2011 - reported group sales in the year were up by 10%.

Both Africa - excluding South Africa - and Asia Pacific delivered 6% increases in full-year lager volumes, with SABMiller's key market of China posting a 5% rise. A cold and wet winter in the country had hampered performance in Q3, but improving weather conditions in the final quarter helped SABMiller's numbers recover.

Volumes in Latin America rose by 3% in the year, but dipped by 1% in Q4. The volumes in the three months to the end of March were hampered by a price rise in some markets in December.

In the US, the company's MillerCoors JV saw sales to retailers fall by 2% in the year and by 3.3% in the quarter. While 'premium light', 'premium regular' and 'economy' beer segments all saw volumes suffer, MillerCoors' Tenth and Blake craft beer division posted high single-digit growth in the final quarter.

Finally, in South Africa, full-year lager volumes rose by 2% in the year and by 1% in the quarter. Soft drinks volumes were up by 3% in the year.

SABMiller's share price fell following the update, and was trading down 0.9% at GBP33.12 at 0854 GMT today.

The company will issue its full-year sales and profits results on 23 May.

To read the company's trading update, click here.