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SABMiller PLC - Trading Statement

RNS Number:2678Q
SABMiller PLC
29 September 2003



SABMiller plc September Trading Statement





London and Johannesburg, 29 September 2003.   Prior to the announcement of its
interim results due in November, SABMiller plc has provided an update to the
trading statement made at the Company's AGM on 30 July 2003.



Group financial performance in the five-month period to 31 August 2003 was
strong, with the European, South African and Africa and Asian businesses each
delivering good earnings growth. In North and Central America the performance of
our businesses has been in line with our previously announced expectations.



Organic volume growth in lager was almost 4% across the Group. In Europe,
organic volume was up 8% driven primarily by a strong performance in Russia and
higher sales in Czech compared to the same period in the prior year, when sales
were affected by the severe flooding. Satisfactory progress is being made with
integrating the recent Peroni acquisition into the Group.



The Africa and Asia business delivered a 3% increase in organic volume growth
over the prior year despite the negative impact of SARS in China and economic
turmoil in Zimbabwe. The East African restructuring initiatives have enhanced
the performance of our operation in this region.



In South Africa, beer volumes have continued to grow, and for the period to
mid-September were up by 2.5% on the prior year after adjusting for the timing
of Easter. Beer continues to gain share of the total liquor market at the
expense of wine and spirits.



In North America, Miller Brewing Company volumes trended lower for the period to
mid September, in line with expectations, being down some 4.5%.  Further
restructuring initiatives were commenced during the period, which will assist
the cost base going forward.



Economic conditions in both Honduras and El Salvador remain subdued. Whilst beer
volumes have grown by almost 3%, competitive pressure in the carbonated soft
drink market continues to impact our Central American business, with volumes
down 8%.  The focus has been on re-energising the CSD brand portfolio and
repositioning and re-launching our beer brands, whilst previous cost
rationalisation activities are yielding benefits.



Strong business performance assisted by favourable currency movements have led
to adjusted earnings per share for the Group showing a satisfactory increase
compared with the previous year.



Ends





Notes to Editors



SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers, with 2002/03 lager volumes
in excess of 115 million hectolitres.  It has a brewing presence in over 40
countries across four continents and a portfolio of strong brands and leading
market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations.
Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola
products in the world.



In the year ended 31 March 2003, the group generated US$770 million pre-tax
profit from a turnover of US$9,112 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the
London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.





Contacts:



Anna Miller Salzman                                    Tel: +44 (0) 20 7659 0106
Head of Investor Relations                             Mob: +44 (0) 7973 837070
SABMiller plc



Gary Leibowitz                                         Tel: +44 (0) 20 7659 0100
VP US Investor Relations
SABMiller plc



This announcement is available on the company website. www.sabmiller.com








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