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SABMillers Miller Brewing taps global brand portfolio

9 October 2006

SABMiller plc, the leading global brewer, announces that its US subsidiary, Miller Brewing Company, will import a number of leading SABMiller brands from Europe and South America into the US from next year.  The new initiative is intended to capitalise on the dramatic growth of imported beers in the US market in the last 2 years.

Miller is tapping SABMiller’s rich international portfolio of some 150 beer brands and will target the larger expatriate communities in North America, reflecting the growing internationalisation of US consumer preferences.  From January 2007 Miller will begin importing Águila, Colombia’s leading lager; and two Peruvian brands, the best selling local beer, Cristal; and the premium beer Cusqueña, which originates from the legendary Inca city of Cuzco.  All three brands will target South American populations in areas such as Florida and New York.

In addition, Miller will expand the distribution of Tyskie, the largest beer brand in Poland and winner of the Gold Medal and Grand Prix awards at Brewing Industry International Awards in London in 2002 and Munich in 2005.  Tyskie will be targeted at the estimated 6 million Polish-Americans located in areas such as Chicago and New York.

Commenting on the move, Tom Long, President and CEO of Miller Brewing Company, said:

“In contrast to some of our other larger competitors, Miller is fortunate to have access to such a deep portfolio of international brands.  While Miller’s two import priorities will remain expanding Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell distribution, we intend to look at developing further opportunities in the area over time.”

Increasing social diversity in the US, coupled with growing interest from retailers in world beers, is translating into the accelerating fragmentation of the US beer market.  According to The Beer Institute in the US, imports have grown 11.3 percent in the twelve months to July 2006.  In 2005, the US imported beer category grew by 7.2% to represent approximately 12.4% of the total US beer market, selling 25.6 million barrels.

About the Brands

  • Águila is Colombia's No. 1 brand with a 56 percent market share.  It is a cultural icon, dominating the Colombian social and sports landscape.  With nearly 2 million expatriate Colombians living in the US, there is a sizable market to pursue
  • Brewed since 1922, Cristal is Peru's No. 1 selling beer with 52 percent share, combining a light-bodied profile with strong Andean imagery.  It has been the No. 1 US import from South America for the last seven years, primarily appealing to the approximately one million Peruvian consumers in the US
  • Cusqueña – or “Gold of the Incas” - is the premium beer of Peru, and originates from Cuzco, the seat of the Inca empire
  • Tyskie, currently celebrating its 377th anniversary, is the No 1. brand in Poland, Central Europe's leading beer growth market.  The brand is rich in heritage from its origins near the beautiful city of Krakow and has since been elevated to national prominence, appealing to discerning consumers as the finest Polish beer with a full, satisfying taste

Ends

Notes to editors:

SABMiller
SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across five 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 revenues and profit before tax of US$2,453 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

This announcement can be found on www.sabmiller.com

High resolution brand images are available for the media to view and download free of charge from www.vismedia.co.uk.

Enquiries: 

SABMiller plc  
Tel: +44 20 7659 0100

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

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

Nigel Fairbrass 
Head of Media Relations  
Tel: +44 7795 894 26

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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