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SABMiller drives UK growth with imported beers

23 May 2013

Friends enjoying Pilsner Urquell at a UK pub.

SABMiller announces that its UK subsidiary, Miller Brands, has delivered lager volume growth of 4% in the 12 months to 31 March 2013. This is despite poor weather, which contributed to an overall decline in the UK beer market of 5.1% over the same period. Miller Brands’ growth was achieved through a continued focus on its portfolio of imported lagers, including Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft, St Stefanus, Lech and Tyskie. In particular, the business grew volumes of SABMiller’s global brand from the Czech Republic, Pilsner Urquell, by 10% during the year.

Brewed in Pilzen, west of the Czech capital, Prague, Pilsner Urquell is the world’s first and oldest pilsner lager. As interest in world beers continues to grow among British drinkers, the Miller Brands team drove a campaign based around Pilsner Urquell’s unique taste profile and its heritage. The business has enjoyed great success in building and growing the Peroni Nastro Azzurro brand in the UK and intends to deliver similar results with the Pilsner Urquell brand.

Miller Brands Managing Director, Gary Haigh, says:
“Beer drinkers in the UK have the luxury of thousands of brands to choose from and hundreds of thousands of pubs, bars and restaurants in which to enjoy them. To stand out in a noisy market, we must respond to consumers’ demands as they are increasingly looking for brands with a story, heritage and interesting provenance. Each of the beers we import to the UK has these qualities in abundance but as the original pilsner, none more so than Pilsner Urquell.”

During the course of the year, Pilsner Urquell was made available to consumers as it is served in Czech: unfiltered, unpasteurised and direct from the brewery at a series of pop-up events. At the 2012 Taste of London Festival 4,700 pints of unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell were served from a giant wooden barrel which was brought across from Czech. Around 150 traditional oak barrels, each serving a limited brewery release of unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell, were also brought over during the course of the year for special tasting events at which a total of over 10,000 pints were served. Most recently a new fount and branded glassware in the form of a newly-designed tankard helped the strong growth in the on-premise market and are expected to drive further growth in the year ahead.



SABMiller plc
t: +44 20 7659 0100

Richard Farnsworth
Business Media Relations Manager
SABMiller plc
t: +44 7734 776 317

Overview of SABMiller
SABMiller plc is one of the world’s leading brewers with more than 200 beer brands and some 70,000 employees in over 75 countries.  The group’s portfolio includes global brands Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch; as well as leading local brands such as Aguila (Colombia), Castle (South Africa), Miller Lite (USA), Snow (China), Victoria Bitter (Australia) and Tyskie (Poland).  SABMiller also has growing soft drinks businesses and is one of the world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products.

In the year ended 31 March 2013 the group reported EBITA of US$6,421 million and group revenue of US$34,487 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

Multi-media content
B-roll footage of the UK beer market is available for download from our broadcast footage library.

UK consumer images are available for download from our media image library.

Miller Brands is the UK and Ireland subsidiary of SABMiller, one of the world's largest brewers. Miller Brands has responsibility for the development of SABMiller’s international premium brands across the UK and Ireland; these include Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Miller Genuine Draft. Through its consistent pricing and distribution discipline, supplemented by engaging marketing activities, Miller Brands is bringing value back into the beer category. More information can be found at


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