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SABMiller PLC - Trading Update

RNS Number:7252U
SABMiller PLC
12 April 2007


12 April 2007

                          SABMiller plc Trading Update


SABMiller plc today issued the following update on trading for the 12 months to
31 March 2007. The calculation of the group's organic growth includes volumes
for South America from 12 October 2006, 12 months after it became part of the
group.


For the year to 31 March 2007, the group recorded 23% growth in lager volumes,
with strong organic growth of some 10%. Group financial performance was in line
with management's expectations as good revenue growth was partially offset by
higher input costs and increased investment across the business.


On a pro forma basis, South America lager volumes for the year rose by 12% with
growth accelerating in the final quarter to 14%. Strong performances across the
region reflect good economic conditions, improved market shares and the impact
of initiatives to rejuvenate the beer category. These initiatives include brand
renovations and launches, the introduction of new containers and significantly
increased investment in marketing and merchandising at the point of sale. In
Colombia, improved retail price discipline has underpinned accelerating sales.
In Peru, Cristal was relaunched in December 2006 and has led our share gains in
a market that remains competitive. In Central America, carbonated soft drink
(CSD) volumes were up 6% and lager volumes up 8% on an organic basis for the
year.


In Europe, lager volumes for the year grew by 11% on an organic basis with the
final quarter up by 15%. This has been driven by continuing good performances
from Poland, Russia and Romania, influenced by a mild winter, and has resulted
in market share gains in most countries. Poland has achieved strong growth of
13% notwithstanding challenging comparatives, reflecting particularly strong
market execution and good growth of our Zubr brand. Russia recorded volume
growth of 24% across our portfolio of premium brands, assisted by improved
national distribution. Romania reported growth of 23%, driven by our Timisoreana
brand and its successful introduction into PET packaging. Czech Republic
achieved growth in volumes of 1%, led by our Pilsner Urquell and Kozel brands.
Branded volumes in Italy were up 5% within our total domestic volume increase of
2%, reflecting our managed exit from private label volumes.


In North America, Miller's full-year domestic sales to retailers ('STRs') were
level with the prior year and down some 3% on an organic basis (excluding Sparks
and Steel Reserve), in line with Miller's shipments to wholesalers over the same
period.  In the fourth quarter, Miller's STRs declined by 2.3% on an organic
basis. For the full year, Miller Lite STRs declined 1%, and STRs of Miller's
worthmore portfolio, including Sparks, grew by 21% with acceleration in the
fourth quarter. While pricing improved, profitability was impacted by
significantly higher raw material and packaging costs.


Our Africa and Asia business delivered organic growth of 27% in lager volumes
for the year, reflecting particularly strong lager volume growth in China of 30%
driven by our national brand, Snow. In Africa (excluding Zimbabwe), lager
volumes grew by 7% for the full year, with Tanzania advancing 8%, helped by the
launch of new packaging for Castle, and Mozambique up 10%, benefiting from wider
distribution and a strong economy. Lager volumes declined a further 4% in
Botswana which experienced difficult economic conditions. CSD growth in Africa
(excluding Zimbabwe) was 23%, led by strong growth in Angola. In India, volumes
increased by 36% on a pro forma basis, benefiting from market deregulation in
certain states. Our joint ventures in Vietnam and Australia commenced operations
in the fourth quarter of the financial year.


In South Africa, lager volumes for the year increased by 2%, with fourth quarter
growth in volumes of 8% benefiting from particularly favourable weather
conditions. As noted in our statement of 13 March, SA Beverages is no longer
brewing, marketing or distributing the Amstel brand in South Africa, but this
has not had an impact in the current year. Soft drinks volumes grew by 7% for
the full year, benefiting from an increase in volumes of 33% in the final
quarter following an improvement in the supply of carbon dioxide to our plants.


Ends


Notes to editors:

SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests or
distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. The group's
brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni
Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as an exceptional range of market
leading local brands.  Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest
bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.

In the year ended 31 March 2006, the group reported US$15,307 million in revenue
and profit before tax of $2,453 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the London
and Johannesburg stock exchanges.


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


High resolution images are available for the media to view and download free of
charge from: www.newscast.co.uk or via the News and Media section at:
www.sabmiller.com


Enquiries:
-----------------                  -----------------------    ------------------

SABMiller plc                                              Tel: +44 20 7659 0100

Sue Clark         Director of Corporate Affairs            Tel: +44 20 7659 0184

Gary Leibowitz    Senior Vice President, Investor          Tel: +44 20 7659 0174
                  Relations

Nigel Fairbrass   Head of Media Relations                  Tel: +44 7799 894265


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.


                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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