SABMiller's North American unit is targeting a turnaround of its Miller Lite brand in the region.

Speaking at an investor conference in London today (30 May), Tom Long, president and CEO of Miller Brewing, said that the unit will emphasise what he calls Miller Lite's "better beer" platform.

"For us to fight back in 2007, to turn around the results we had from 2006, we've really got to, first and foremost, return Miller Lite to growth," Long said. "It's our flagship brand. Most of our economic value added comes out of that brand.

"We've got to make plain and clear to consumers that they're just a little bit smarter than the average guy, by drinking a better beer. Better because it has more taste, better because of more colour, better because of half the carbs and a third fewer calories than Bud Light, and many of the new, imported light beer substitutes."

The unit is also lining up the introduction of SABMiller's Chinese beer, Snow, into its market to tap into the growing Chinese contingency in the US.

Earlier this month, SABMiller admitted that the North America region had had a difficult year in the 12 months to the end of March. EBITA in the region slid by 17% in the year to US$376m as higher commodity costs, declining Miller Lite volume and price competition in the economy segment hit the bottom line.