SABMiller plc March Trading Update
23 March 2005
London and Johannesburg, 23 March 2005. SABMiller plc today issued the following update on trading for the 11 months to February 2005, as the group’s financial year nears completion.
The group has recorded organic lager volume growth of over 4% for the 11 months to February 2005. Group financial performance remains in line with our expectations as communicated at the time of our interim announcement.
Miller's domestic sales to retailers (STRs) were 0.9% above prior year for the 11 months. Miller Lite sales have continued to grow, albeit at a slower rate as a result of cycling higher year-on-year comparables and a weak industry trading environment. Domestic shipments to wholesalers (STWs) were in line with STRs for the 11 months.
In Central America, tougher market conditions and an increase in excise on beer in El Salvador contributed to carbonated soft drink volumes being down 7% for the year to date, and beer volumes down by 1%.
In Europe, organic lager volume growth for the year to date was almost 5%, with continuing strong performance from Poland, Russia and Romania being partially offset by weakness in Italy, Hungary and Slovakia.
The Africa and Asia business has continued to record good growth, with an increase in organic lager volume, on a year to date comparable basis, of almost 10%.
Beer South Africa volumes grew by 4% on a year to date comparable basis, whilst ABI achieved a volume growth of 7%. South African volume growth was supported by continuing robust consumer spending.
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.
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