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SABMiller plc trading update - September 2004

23 September 2004

Ref: 24/04

Prior to the announcement of its interim results due in November and ahead of the Miller investor presentations on September 27 and 28, SABMiller plc has provided an update to the trading statement made at the Company’s AGM on 29 July 2004.

Group financial performance in the five-month period to 31 August 2004 was strong, and earnings growth was recorded in all of our businesses. For the same period, the group’s organic lager volume growth was over 4%.

In North America, Miller’s US domestic sales to retailers (STRs) increased by 2% for the period to mid September, with growth in the Miller Lite franchise being partially offset by reductions in other brands. Financial performance has benefited from favourable brand mix and price increases.

While beer volumes in Central America remain largely unchanged, volumes of carbonated soft drinks (CSD) were some 5% below prior year, reflecting continuing price-based competition in the market. The business continues to benefit from previous cost rationalisation activities and selective price increases in both beer and CSDs.

Our Europe business produced satisfactory results, with organic lager growth of 3%. In addition to continued volume growth in Russia and Romania, the second quarter’s volume trends in the key markets of Poland and Czech are better than in the first quarter, partially offset by weakness in Italy and Hungary.

The Africa and Asia business delivered a pleasing increase in organic lager volume of 9% over the prior year, reflecting growth in China against a comparable period impacted by SARS, and growth in key African markets.

In South Africa, beer volumes have grown by some 4%, with further gains in share of the total liquor market. At ABI, CSD volumes were up by 7% over the prior year. Strong operating performances have been enhanced by favourable currency movements.


Notes to editors:

SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers, with 2003/04 lager volumes in excess of 137 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 2004, the group generated US$1,391 million pre-tax profit from a turnover of US$12,645 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

 SABMiller plcTel: +44 20 7659 0100
Sue ClarkDirector of Corporate AffairsTel: +44 20 7659 0184
Gary LeibowitzVice President,
Investor Relations
Mob: +44 7717 428540
Mat DunnInvestor Relations
Senior Manager
Tel: +44 20 7659 0194
Nigel FairbrassHead of Corporate
Tel: +44 20 7659 0105
Mob: +44 7799 894265

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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.

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