The head of SABMiller has attacked Anheuser-Busch's (AB) discounting policy in the US. Presenting the company's six-month figures in London today (10 November), chief executive Graham Mackay questioned the programme, adding that SABMiller will continue to mirror AB's price cuts.

"We've sought to match the discounting where we've had to," Mackay said. "We're reluctant converts to discounting.

"It's a curious situation," he added, "in that it's the industry leader leading the discounting. It seems questionable that they will maintain any market share growth that the discounting may gain."

Mackay noted that the main growth segment in the US beer market is the high-price sector where, Mackay believes, AB is under-represented.

The UK-based brewer saw revenue in the North American market rise by only 2% in the six months to 30 September, reaching US$2.66bn. Earnings were down, however, by 5% year-on-year to US$286m, with volumes remaining flat at 25.7m hectolitres.