SABMiller reveals lager growth in Africa and Asia

SABMiller has recorded double-digit lager sales growth in its African and Asian markets

The trading results for the group that owns Miller, Peroni and Grolsch pertain to the first six-months of the financial year.

In Africa - a region that is home to 16 SABMiller breweries – volume grew by 11% - results, according to the group, that were aided by the stabilisation of Zimbabwe’s economy.

Within the region, SABMiller ascribed Uganda’s 23% increase in volume to the introduction of an expanded portfolio; the 15% rise in Zambia to an excise reduction; and Mozambique’s 10% growth to ‘additional capacity’ and increased ‘premium brand performance’.

South Africa, an independent market to Africa, saw volume rise 3% thanks to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In Asia volume increased by 10%, largely because of the investment in sales and marketing in China that lead to a 9% rise. India’s results were mixed throughout the period.

The group recorded 5% negative growth in Europe – a manifestation of what the group termed ‘weak economic conditions across the region’.

Notable drops in the region came in the form of Romania, which saw down-trading of 11%, following government-introduced austerity measures.

Czech Republic - home to SABMiller brand Pilsner Urquell – was impacted by ‘weakness in the on-premise sector, down-trading and excise increases’, resulting in a drop of 9%.

While the Polish market saw down-trading of SABMiller lager brands by 6%, a trend the group attributed to increased competition.

Elsewhere in the world, Latin America’s lager volume was marginally down overall, with a drop of 7% recorded in Colombia and sales growth of 11% and 4% in Peru and Ecuador respectively.

Lager volume across all SABMiller markets grew by 1% for the first six months compared to the previous year.

Trading results are based on organic growth so do not include the effects of acquisitions and disposals on volume