SABMiller said today (12 October) that its financial performance in the six-month period to 30 September was in line with management's expectations, and organic growth of some 5% in lager volumes was recorded.

In North America, Miller's US domestic sales to retailers (STRs) were down by 0.3% against prior year in, what SABMiller called "a trading environment that has become increasingly price-competitive and subject to higher input costs," both of which have affected profitability.

The company said that STR growth in the Miller Lite franchise was offset by a net decline in the STRs of other brands.

Volumes of carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) in Central America were approximately 3.5% above prior year with growth in both Honduras and El Salvador, whilst beer volumes were down some 7% principally as a result of excise increases in El Salvador.

In a statement the company said: "Our Europe business has generated organic growth in lager volumes of 5%, with a particularly pleasing performance in Poland complemented by more moderate growth in most other countries."

The Africa and Asia business delivered an organic increase in comparable lager volume of 13% over the prior year. This was driven by strong organic growth in China, together with good growth in Mozambique and Tanzania.

The statement said: "Our South Africa Beverages business benefited from the warm winter weather during the second quarter. Beer volumes over the six months grew by almost 3% on a comparable basis, reflecting good trading in recent months. The favourable weather conditions together with successful promotions during the winter months resulted in an increase in soft drink volumes of some 10%."