SABMiller has appointed new heads for its Royal Grolsch and Birra Peroni beer businesses.

Tom Verhaegen is to become general manager of Grolsch on 1 April, SABMiller said this week. Meanwhile, Roberto Jarrín has taken up the post of CEO of Italy-based Birra Peroni.

Verhaegen, who has worked for SABMiller since 2009 and is currently marketing director at the group's Czech subsidiary, Plzensky Prazdroj, will replace Rob Snel, who is retiring. Verhaegen will join Netherlands-based Grolsch after helping Plzensky Prazdroj to post record export sales for calendar 2011. The group shipped 889,000 hectolitres, up 6% on 2010.

Jarrín has swapped places with Alfonso Bosch, who has, in turn, become president of SABMiller's subsidiary in Ecuador, Cervecería Nacional.

Commenting on Italy's tough economic climate, Jarrín said: "We're well aware of the fact that today's market conditions and generalised contraction of consumption will have an impact on the beer industry as well," he said. However, while the domestic beer market is weak, export beer Peroni Nastro Azzurro has grown strongly in other markets. The beer is now available in 55 countries.