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US: SABMiller sees beer volumes rise across the board

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SABMiller has posted a healthy lift in beer volumes for the five months to the end of August.

The global brewer said today (25 September) that group volumes in the period registered organic growth of over 11% on the corresponding period a year earlier, driven by strong performances in Africa & Asia, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe.

In North America, SABMiller's Miller unit saw sales to retailers rise by 1.3%, with Miller Lite registering a 4% lift in domestic net revenue per barrel. Miller Chill, which was introduced across the US in June, has sold almost 300,000 barrels since launch, and is on target to meet the 400,000-barrel benchmark SABMiller has set for the brand for this year.

The brewer said it has mainly seen its Central and Eastern European markets develop, although no specific figures for the European region were quoted.

Turning to Latin America, SABMiller saw what it described as "significant potential for future growth given historical under-investment in the beer category". While the company is investing in its operations in the region, SABMiller warned that growth will moderate over the remainder of the year.

In the brewer's South African market, the reintroduction of the Amstel beer brand, which Heineken wrested control back from SABMiller earlier this year, appears to have been delayed. SABMiller said that this has resulted in a limiting of the anticipated financial impact to US$40m-$50m in the current year. The company said it also is mulling new product launches in the market.

Finally, the company toasted a strong performance of its Snow beer brand in China, with the recent acquisition of the Foster's brand in India also being credited with helping Africa & Asia operations to grow rapidly. Elsewhere in the region, SABMiller said it has commenced operations in Vietnam and continues to seek further opportunities in the region.


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: SABMiller, Heineken

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