SABMiller plc trading update for the trading period 1 October 2002 to 31 December 2002
23 January 2003
SABMiller plc, the world's second largest brewer by volume, today issued the following trading statement. This updates the market on the group's third quarter, after the peak South African December period.
Beer South Africa's volumes for the third quarter of the year were up 2.6%, supported by a strong marketing effort, a more stable consumer environment and favourable weather. Year to date volumes are now up some 1% over last year. The good weather also helped ABI deliver third quarter volume growth of 5.9%, with year to date growth of 6.9%. Reported earnings from all the South African businesses for the nine months are ahead of prior year, assisted by improvement in the rand dollar exchange rate during the third quarter.
Miller Brewing Company's domestic volumes, excluding contract brewing, remain behind last year, down 3% for the six months since acquisition. Management focus on a wide range of business areas and initiatives continues.
Competitive pricing pressures and a difficult economic environment are still adversely affecting results from Central America.
Our European operations maintained the momentum of the first half, with volume growth of 11.6% for the three months. Key brand performance for the quarter has been pleasing with Pilsner Urquell up by 13.5% domestically and Miller Genuine Draft volumes in Russia almost doubling.
Africa and Asia's performance continues in line with expectations with Africa well ahead of prior year.
The group's objective of delivering real earnings per share growth for the full year remains intact.
Notes to editors
SABMiller is the world's second largest brewer by volume with pro forma 2001/02 lager volumes in excess of 120 million hectolitres and is also the world's leading brewer in developing markets. It has 115 brewing operations and over 69,000 employees, in 24 countries across Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, North and Central America and Asia. It has a portfolio of strong brands and leading market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations. Outside the USA, SABMiller is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.
SABMiller is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges and has a market capitalisation of US$6.7 billion (approximately R60 billion).
For further information:
SABMiller plc Tel: +44 20 7659 0100
Director of Communications
Tel: +44 20 7659 0119
Mob: +44 7880 502 755
Anna Miller Salzman
Head of Investor Relations
Tel: +44 20 7659 0106
Mob: +44 7973 837 070
Head of Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 20 7659 0120
Mob: +44 7979 954 493