SABMiller trading update for the three months ended 30 June 2002
31 July 2002
London and Johannesburg, 31 July 2002. At SABMiller plc's (SABMiller) Annual General Meeting today, and ahead of the analysts' seminar on the company's operations in Europe, Graham Mackay, Chief Executive of SABMiller commented on SABMiller's overall performance for the three months ended 30 June 2002.
Mr Mackay said: "Overall, group financial performance for the quarter to 30 June 2002 is satisfactory and earnings per share are in line with the comparable period last year, notwithstanding the significant devaluation of Southern African currencies that occurred in the latter part of 2001.
"Our European businesses have performed well, with better than expected volume growth for the first quarter, a trend that has continued into July. Volumes in both the key markets of Poland and the Czech Republic are up some 8% on prior year, with positive performance also coming from Hungary, though volumes in Russia have been disappointing. Financial performance continues to be strong.
"In our Africa/Asia businesses, Africa volumes of both beer and carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) are currently running ahead of prior year, with Botswana, Tanzania, Angola and Mozambique all showing good growth, and overall beverage volumes are in line with expectations. Earnings from Africa are ahead of prior year. In China, restructuring and consolidation of the significant strategic acquisitions made last year continue according to plan, and profits have improved.
"The rationalisation and integration programme for our Central American businesses is proceeding as we drive for improved efficiencies in manufacturing, distribution and sales. In the market place, competitive pressures have impacted volumes and revenues, and earnings are behind expectations.
"In South Africa, beer volumes are cumulatively down some 2.8% on the prior year, affected by the timing of Easter, which fell into the prior financial year. Adjusting for this, volumes are approximately level with those of the comparative period. ABI has shown good growth on prior year and a particularly strong performance was achieved by our Hotel and Gaming group. A stronger than predicted rand exchange rate has assisted the South African operations to deliver profit performance ahead of expectations.
"Turning to our newly acquired subsidiary Miller Brewing Company, which will be consolidated from July 2002, trading conditions at Miller for the quarter to June 2002 were broadly in line with expectations. A decline in sales volumes of slightly less than 2%, following cooler springtime weather conditions experienced in parts of the United States, was offset by better pricing trends, lower raw material costs and higher contract brewing volumes."
Notes to Editors
SABMiller is a major international brewer. By volume it is the world's second largest brewer and it employs over 38,000 people across the globe in 111 breweries. SABMiller has a portfolio of strong brands and a leading market share in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations. It is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.
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