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SABMiller Revenues, Lager Volumes Rise - Update

British brewer SABMiller Plc (SAB.L,SBMRY.PK) reported Thursday a 7 percent increase in full-year revenues, with a 3 percent growth in lager volumes. The company also said its overall financial performance is in line with its expectations.

In a trading update for the 12 months ended March 31, 2012, the company said its revenues grew 7 percent on an organic, constant currency basis. Revenue per hectolitre was up 4 percent from last year. On an organic basis, lager volumes increased 3 percent from last year. Soft drinks volumes improved 7 percent from the preceding year.

The company said its organic growth rates exclude the impact of acquisitions and disposals on volumes and revenues.

In the fourth quarter, group revenue grew 10 percent on an organic, constant currency basis, with group revenue per hl improving 5 percent.

In Latin America, lager volumes for the year advanced 8 percent on an organic basis. Soft drinks volumes in the region improved 10 percent, with strong growth across all categories.

In Europe, full-year lager volumes declined 1 percent, as beer market growth continued to be subdued and due to the aggressive promotion of economy brands and packs by competitors. Meanwhile, in the UK, volume grew 8 percent from a year ago.

The company reported a 13 percent growth in lager volumes in Africa on an organic basis, despite strong prior year comparatives and emerging capacity constraints in some markets. Total Africa soft drinks volumes grew 11 percent.

In South Africa, lager volumes grew 2 percent from last year and showed a 2 percent improvement in Soft drinks volumes.

Further, lager volumes in the Asia Pacific region improved 4 percent in the year. In China lager volume increase was 9 percent on a reported basis and 4 percent on an organic basis.

For the full year, MillerCoors LLC, the U.S. joint venture of Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP, TPX_A.TO, TPX_B.TO) and SABMiller, said its US domestic sales to retailers decreased 2.4 percent. According to the company, mainstream beer segment continued to be affected by economic pressure on key consumer demographics. Domestic sales to wholesalers also declined 2.7 percent.

SAB.L is currently trading at 2,631.5 pence, up 15.5 pence or 0.59 percent, on a volume of 225 thousand shares on the LSE.

by RTT Staff Writer

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