• First-half net sales up by 8% on organic, constant currency basis
  • Total volumes up by 9%
  • Europe volumes up 9% on an organic basis
  • Australian lager volumes drop by 8%
SABMiller announced an H1 trading update today

SABMiller announced an H1 trading update today

SABMiller's first-half financial performance has come in “in line with our expectations”, the company has said, as global volumes climbed by 9% over the year prior.

In an H1 trading update today (18 October), the brewer and soft drinks maker posted an 8% rise in group volumes, outpacing Q1 when total volumes grew by 5%. Sales per hectolitre in the six months to the end of September were up by 3% on an organic, constant currency basis, SABMiller said.

Europe benefited from the summer of sport, including the Euro 2012 tournament co-hosted by Poland, which saw lager volumes increase by 10%. Volumes in the UK rose by 5% driven by the continued growth of Peroni Nastro Azzurro, SABMiller said. Overall, European volume sales climbed by 9% on an organic basis.

Latin America lager volumes came in 4% up year-on-year - compared to a 6% rise in Q1 - with soft drinks increasing by 3%. Colombia’s lager volumes grew by 3% in the face of price increases while in Peru sales volumes rose by 6% as consumers traded up from black-market offerings, the company said.

Sales of lager in Asia-Pacific increased by 5%, with reported volumes up by 17% reflecting the acquisition of Foster’s and other acquisitions in China, SABMiller said.

In China, lager growth was 4%, one percentage point lower than in Q1. SABMiller blamed the drop on a fall in consumption in Sichuan, one of China's most populous provinces. Meanwhile, volumes in India were up 23% compared to 24% in the previous quarter.

Australia was once again the sick man of Asia-Pacific for SABMiller, posting an 8% fall in lager sales. For the second quarter in a row lager volumes at CUB, the Australian drinks arms of the Foster's group SABMiller acquired in December, fell by 13%.

Africa saw lager volumes climb by 6% on an organic basis, with Zambia increasing by 14% and Mozambique by 10% on the back of Manica and Impala sales. Ugandan volumes dropped by 3%. Lager volumes in key SABMiller market South Africa rose by 1%, the same as in Q1, with market share improving, the company said without giving details.

Global lager volumes increased by 4% organically while soft drinks volumes climbed by 6%, also on an organic basis.