Print Page | Close Window

SABMiller PLC - Trading Update

RNS Number:9514L
17 January 2008

17 January 2008

SABMiller plc Trading Update

SABMiller plc today issues its interim management statement for the group's
third quarter and for the nine months ended 31 December 2007 which also
represents a trading update for the same period. The calculation of organic
growth rates shown below excludes volumes for acquired businesses for the first
12 months after an acquisition.

The group's lager volume growth was 7% for the third quarter. On an organic
basis, lager volumes for the third quarter grew by 4%, and 9% for the year to
date. Revenue continues to benefit from price increases which have offset the
impact of higher input costs. The underlying financial performance of the group
has been in line with our expectations outlined at the time of the interim
results announcement. Results for the quarter in US dollars have been positively
affected by the stronger Colombian peso, South African rand and certain European
currencies against the US dollar.

In Latin America, lager volumes grew by 4% in the quarter following high growth
in the comparative period. Lager volumes were up 6.5% year to date. In Colombia,
lager volumes have grown 2% in the quarter, reflecting difficult trading
conditions and bad weather impacting demand and distribution. In Peru, third
quarter volumes were up 5% in an increasingly competitive market.

Europe achieved lager volume growth of 4% during the quarter, over a comparative
period that benefited from a mild winter, with year to date growth of 9%.
Quarterly volume growth was strong in Romania with volumes up 18%, and good
domestic volume growth of 6% was achieved in Poland and 7% in Russia, whilst
domestic volumes in the Czech Republic declined by 3%.

Miller's third quarter domestic sales to retailers (STRs) were 1.5% above the
prior year after adjusting for the number of trading days in the period (3.1%
unadjusted). Adjusted STRs of Miller Lite were up 1.9% in the three-month period
and 2% year to date. Adjusted STRs of the worthmore brand portfolio grew by 30%
in the quarter.  Miller increased domestic net revenue per barrel by 4.3% in the
quarter, reflecting strong pricing, reduction in promotions and favourable brand
mix. Miller's domestic trading-day-adjusted STRs for the year to date grew by
4.4% (1.4% organically, excluding Sparks and Steel Reserve, acquired in August

Our Africa and Asia business delivered organic growth of 8% in lager volumes in
the quarter and 18% year to date. Organic growth in China was 7% in the
three-month period following recent price increases and reflecting slower market
growth whilst India volumes were up 20%. In Africa (excluding Zimbabwe) lager
volumes on an organic basis grew by some 5% in the quarter and 5% year to date,
with good volume growth in Tanzania, Botswana and Mozambique.

South Africa Beverages lager volumes were down by 0.4% during the quarter,
reducing year to date volume growth to 1%. Lager volumes were impacted by an
increase in competitive activity and continuing supply chain challenges during
new brand and pack introductions. Soft drinks volumes increased by 6% in the
quarter and year to date were up 9% on the prior year.

On 21 December 2007 SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company announced the
signing of the definitive transaction agreement for the combination of the US
and Puerto Rico operations of Miller Brewing Company and Coors Brewing Company
into a joint venture. The closing of the transaction remains subject to
clearance from US competition authorities, certain other regulatory clearances
and third-party consents. During the quarter a charge of US$19 million has been
recorded by Miller Brewing Company for staff retention arrangements and has been
treated as an exceptional item. The group expects to record further charges in
the final quarter and up to completion of the transaction, which is not
anticipated to occur before mid-2008. These amounts are included in the
previously announced estimates of costs associated with the joint venture.

On 7 January 2008 SABMiller plc announced its cash offer for all the issued and
outstanding shares in Royal Grolsch NV, which is supported by the supervisory
and management boards of Royal Grolsch. The offer will be considered at an
extraordinary general meeting of Royal Grolsch shareholders on 28 January.
SABMiller has an irrevocable undertaking to accept the offer from shareholders
representing some 37% of the shares, and as at 7 January 2008 SABMiller had
acquired a further 13.52%. The first closing date of the offer is 5 February


About SABMiller plc

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 2007, the group reported US$3,154 million adjusted
pre-tax profit and revenue of US$18,620 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the
London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

This announcement is available on the company website:

High resolution images are available for the media to view and download free of
charge from or

----------------- --------------------------------         ---------------------

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

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

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


Share price data provided by vwd group & financial data provided byMorningstar.