Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

SABMiller volumes slip on global slowdown

World number two brewer SABMiller saw beer volumes dip slightly as forecast in the six months to September as the global slowdown continued to hit demand, with declines in Europe offset by double-digit growth in China.

The London-based maker of Miller Lite, Peroni and Grolsch said in a statement on Thursday that half-year underlying volumes fell 1% with a 12% rise in China cushioning falls Europe, Latin America and South Africa.

Most forecasts in a poll of analysts by Reuters ranged from flat to a 1% decline as the brewer’s sales continued to suffer from price rises pushed through to offset sharp rises in commodity costs such as barley, glass and aluminium.

The second-ranked brewer behind Anheuser-Busch InBev said its financial performance was in line with its own expectations, and that revenue was supported by the price rises taken in its previous financial year.

SABMiller shares were off 0,7% at £16,18 by 7.20am GMT after a strong run over the last few weeks.

”A slightly disappointing volume performance in H1 with volumes off 1%. This implies down 2% in Q2, a deterioration on the flat performance in Q1,” said analyst Matthew Webb at broker Cazenove.

But he left his earnings forecasts unchanged for the year to March 2010, noting that the potential to acquire FEMSA Cerveza at an attractive price was a positive for the shares.

The brewer, which earns nearly 90% of its profits from emerging markets like South Africa, Colombia, Poland and China, is seen by analysts as the front-runner to buy Mexico’s second biggest brewer FEMSA Cerveza, maker of Sol and Tecate beers, for about $7,5-billion.

Elsewhere in the sector, AB Inbev said on Thursday it had agreed to sell breweries in nine eastern European countries to CVC Capital Partners for an initial $2,23-billion, passing its target for divestments since its merger a year ago.

SABMiller, which also brews Castle, Snow, and Pilsner Urquell beers, said beer volumes dipped 1% in Latin America, fell 6% in Europe and slipped 3% in South Africa, while Asian volumes rose 9% boosted by strong growth in China and its Africa region was up 3%.

In the United States, where it formed the MillerCoors joint venture in July 2008, sales to retailers were off 1% in the half-year with both key brands Miller Lite and Coors Light seeing volumes down.

The group was giving a first-half trading update ahead of its half-year results on November 19. – Reuters

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

R500-million Covid-19 Gauteng hospital contract was irregularly awarded — SIU

The bank accounts of Pro Service Consulting and Thenga Holdings have been frozen

More top stories

With its industrial base decimated, SA’s economy needs real change...

Speaking at a book launch on Tuesday, the finance minister said a focus on manufacturing is critical to stem the country’s deepening unemployment crisis

Defence team cagey about Zuma’s health after state advised he...

The former president was absent from court, but his counsel argued that health matters be left aside, so as to hear his case for the removal of Billy Downer

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

New clean fuel standards could be the end of refineries...

In the absence of mechanisms to recoup investment into cleaner fuels, refineries may be faced with tough decisions
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×