SABMiller plc AGM Trading Statement
28 May 2005
London and Johannesburg, 28 July 2005. At the Annual General Meeting of SABMiller plc (SABMiller) today, Graham Mackay, chief executive of SABMiller, commented on the group’s overall performance for the three months ended 30 June 2005.
Mr Mackay said: “The group has achieved a good start to the financial year, with the financial and volume performance for the first quarter to 30 June being in line with our expectations at the time of our preliminary results announcement in May of this year. All of our major businesses have contributed towards an increase in adjusted earnings per share for this period when compared with the prior year.
“In North America, Miller’s US domestic sales to retailers (STRs) increased by 1.0% over the prior year, reflecting the continued growth of the Miller Lite brand in a weak and competitive industry trading environment. Miller Lite performance was partially offset by a net reduction in the volume of other brands but within these the Milwaukee’s Best and High Life franchises achieved growth.
“Total regional beverage volumes in Central America were in line with the prior year. However, as expected, excise and competitive pressures continued to impact our beer business, with volumes lower than the prior year.
“Our Europe business has produced good results with organic lager growth of some 6% across the division. Most of our European operations have seen volume and share growth in the quarter led by Poland and driven primarily by marketing and sales initiatives.
“The Africa & Asia business achieved organic growth in lager volume of some 15%, principally due to improved trading conditions in certain of our China regions and in Tanzania and Mozambique. In Africa, our lager volumes grew, despite the Botswana currency devaluation, and the business continues to post volume growth in carbonated soft drinks.
“In South Africa, beer volumes were in line with the prior year on a comparable basis (adjusting for the transfer of management responsibility to the Africa division for exports to Angola during 2004) despite poor trading conditions in April, which were subsequently off-set by improved trading in May and June. April’s volume performance was also impacted by the absence of an Easter period. Soft drinks volumes showed strong growth, rising by some 6% during the period.”
Notes to editors:
SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers, with 2004/05 lager volumes in excess of 148 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 2005, the group generated US$2,194 million pre-tax profit from a turnover of US$14,543 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
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