SABMiller reported low single-digit full-year sales growth

SABMiller reported low single-digit full-year sales growth

SABMiller has reported a moderate rise in full-year net sales and volumes as double-digit growth in China helped offset a decline in Europe and a flat North America performance.

The London-headquartered brewer and soft drinks producer said today (15 April) that group net sales in the 12 months to the end of March rose by 3% on an organic basis. Total volumes in the year were up by 2% organically. 

Group lager volumes over the year rose by 1%, while soft drinks volumes climbed by 5%. 

In Q4, group sales were up 2% on an organic basis. 

In Asia-Pacific, full-year sales rose 4%, driven by China which saw 17% organic sales growth. This offset a total volume fall of 8% in Australia. 

In Latin America, FY sales grew by 5% despite “difficult trading conditions”, SABMiller said. In Africa group sales were up 5% in the 12 months, helped by lager volume growth of 6%. Meanwhile, in South Africa total sales rose by 6%, the group said, helped by price increases, but lager and soft drinks volumes were flat.

The group pointed to improving trends in Europe, but sales were flat. Volumes in the year were down 1%, with lager volumes slipping by 4% due to poor weather in the first half affecting key markets, the company said. 

In North America, the company's JV with Molson Coors, MillerCoors, saw flat full-year sales. Volumes to retailers fell by 3%. However sales per hectolitre were helped by a rising share of revenue for the unit's “above premium” portfolio, the group said. 

The company also announced today it is reviewing its 39.6% stake in African hotel company Tsogo Sun Holdings,  as it is "not considered to be core" to SABMiller's beverage operations. 

Shares in SABMiller were today trading down in London by 2% at GBP30.61.

The company will release the full breakdown of its FY performance on 22 May.

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