RNS Number : 6279C
18 April 2013

SABMiller plc Full Year 2013 Trading Update


SABMiller plc today issues the following update on trading for the 12 months to 31 March 2013. The calculation of the organic growth rates excludes the impact of acquisitions and disposals on volumes and revenues.


Group revenue for the full year grew by 7%, on an organic, constant currency basis, with group revenue per hectolitre (hl) up 3%, reflecting excise-driven price increases and the impact of regional mix. Including the impact of the Foster's transaction and other acquisitions and disposals, and after adverse currency translation effects, reported group revenue for the year was up 10%. For the fourth quarter group revenue grew by 4% and group revenue per hl was up 1%, both on an organic, constant currency basis. Lager volumes on an organic basis were up 3% for the full year and 4% for the fourth quarter. Soft drinks volumes were up 4% for the full year and 3% for the fourth quarter, both on an organic basis. The group's overall financial performance was in line with our expectations.


Latin America's lager volumes were up 3% on an organic basis compared with the prior year, with a 1% decline in the fourth quarter. Volume performance in the fourth quarter was impacted by softer economic conditions and a December 2012 price increase in some markets. In Colombia, full year lager volumes grew by 3%, benefiting from the roll-out of affordable bulk packs and the continued good performance of Aguila Light. Peru's full year lager volume showed growth of 5% despite local dry laws affecting trading in recent months. Ecuador's lager volumes were up 2% for the full year in softer economic conditions, with increased trade restrictions and three days of dry laws during the Presidential election in February. Our local premium brand Club delivered strong growth, while two price increases during 2012 boosted revenues. In Central America lager volumes grew by 5%, with strong performances in Panama from our premium international brands and in El Salvador where affordable bulk packs have driven higher growth. Soft drinks volumes across Latin America were up 3% for the year, coupled with firmer pricing, with our non-alcoholic malt volumes up 2%.


In Europe, full year lager volumes were up 6% on an organic basis with fourth quarter volumes up 3%. Despite a challenging economic backdrop, volume growth was delivered through successful launches of brand and pack innovations. In Poland, full year volumes were up 8% with a strong first half benefiting from the Euro 2012 football tournament, the Tyskie brand in particular, and the cycling of a weak comparative period. Performance in the second half was assisted by brand innovations and buying ahead of price increases at the end of March 2013. In the Czech Republic, domestic volumes were down 3% for the full year driven by continued weakness in the higher value on-premise channel in which our business is disproportionately represented, along with the impact in the second half of selective price increases in October 2012. Volumes grew by 24% in Romania driven by the expansion of economy brand Ciucas in a new PET pack launched at the end of the prior financial year. In the United Kingdom, increased distribution contributed to lager volume growth of 4% for the full year.


For the 12 months ended 31 March 2013, MillerCoors' US domestic sales to retailers (STRs) were down 2.0%, with a 3.3% decline in the quarter to March, on a trading day adjusted basis, amidst weaker industry performance.  Premium light STRs were down mid single digits in the quarter, with a low single digit decline in Coors Light and a high single digit decline in Miller Lite. The premium regular and economy segments both declined by mid single digits. The Tenth and Blake division saw high single digit growth, driven by Blue Moon and supported by the national expansion of Batch 19. The above premium segment saw double digit growth following the national launch of Redd's Apple Ale and Third Shift Amber Lager. Domestic sales to wholesalers (STWs) declined 1.5% for the year ended 31 March 2013, with a 2.5% decline in the fourth quarter.


Full year lager volumes in Africa grew by 6% on an organic basis despite cycling strong comparatives, with the final quarter up 9%. Volume growth was driven by additional capacity coming on stream, enhanced availability and focused consumer offerings across the region. In Zambia, improved availability was aided by the Ndola brewhouse commissioning in November 2012, resulting in full year lager volume growth of 12%. Although full year lager volumes in Tanzania declined by 8%, due to the excise related pricing and beer market contraction, volumes returned to growth at the end of the year and the fourth quarter was in line with the prior year. Mozambique delivered a strong performance with full year lager volume growth of 11% underpinned by robust growth of our mainstream brands. Good progress was made in Nigeria through the commissioning of the greenfield brewery in Onitsha in September 2012, the successful brand launch of Hero and the continued growth of the Trophy brand. Softening economic conditions held back growth in Zimbabwe, which was up 4% on the prior year, and Uganda, which was level. Our associate Castel delivered lager volume growth of 6% on a pro forma basis including the combined Angola business and their Madagascar acquisition. Soft drinks volumes grew by 9% on an organic basis assisted by strong performances in Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana and Castel.


Lager volumes in the Asia Pacific region grew by 6% for the year on an organic basis with very strong growth of 12% in the fourth quarter. In Australia, volumes in our continuing lager portfolio sustained their improving trend, with growth of 3% in the final quarter underpinned by Victoria Bitter, with sales growth for the second consecutive quarter since its re-launch in October 2012, following over a decade of declines. Our premium brands also continued to perform well in the final quarter. Full year volumes were lower by 5% on a pro forma continuing basis, while total volumes, including discontinued brands were 13% down. Full year lager volume growth in China was 5% on an organic basis with a robust performance in the fourth quarter as weather conditions improved. In India, volumes for the year were up 20%, ahead of an industry estimated to have grown by 13%, driven by sustained focus on key states.


In South Africa, lager volumes for the year grew by 2% and market share increased against a backdrop of difficult trading conditions. Sales benefited from innovative, through-the-line execution of key brand propositions, notably Castle Lite and Castle Lager, and continuing improvements to customer service. In the fourth quarter volumes were up 1%, cycling strong growth in the prior year and impacted by a softer economic environment. Soft drinks volumes grew 3% for the year, with continued benefit from increased market penetration, a significant improvement in customer service and channel-focused execution, with particularly strong growth in two litre PET packs.






Notes to editors


SABMiller plc is one of the world's leading brewers with more than 200 beer brands and some 70,000 employees in over 75 countries.  The group's portfolio includes global brands such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch; as well as leading local brands such as Aguila (Colombia), Castle (South Africa), Miller Lite (USA), Snow  (China), Victoria Bitter (Australia) and Tyskie (Poland).  SABMiller also has growing soft drinks businesses and is one of the world's largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products.


In the year ended 31 March 2012 the group reported EBITA of US$5,634 million and group revenue of US$31,388 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.


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SABMiller plc
t: +44 20 7659 0100

Catherine May
Director of Corporate Affairs
SABMiller plc
t: +44 20 7927 4709

Gary Leibowitz
Senior VP, Investor Relations
SABMiller plc
t: +44 20 7659 0174

Richard Farnsworth
Business Media Relations Manager
SABMiller plc
t: +44 20 7659 0188


This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or issue or the solicitation of an offer to buy or acquire securities of SABMiller plc (the "Company") or any of its affiliates in any jurisdiction or an inducement to enter into investment activity.


This document includes "forward-looking statements". These statements may contain the words "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate", "expect" and words of similar meaning. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding the Company's financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to the Company's products and services) are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the Company's present and future business strategies and the environment in which the Company will operate in the future. These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this announcement. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this announcement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Any information contained in this announcement on the price at which the Company's securities have been bought or sold in the past, or on the yield on such securities, should not be relied upon as a guide to future performance.


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