China weather reins in growth for SABMiller

Ollie Gordon
INTERNATIONAL brewing monolith SABMiller yesterday reported a four per cent boost in revenues in the third quarter despite a sales lag in China due to poor weather last year.

The maker of Peroni and Grolsch saw a four per cent hike in the volume of soft drinks sold, but a four per cent drop in that of larger.

In China, revenue fell by seven per cent, with the company citing the impact of unusually bad weather in country over the summer.

SABMiller chief executive Alan Clark commented: “During the quarter, our Latin America and Africa businesses continued to grow both volumes and revenues, together with Europe, while more difficult trading conditions, particularly in China, held back the overall group performance.”

The performance was broadly in line with analysts’ forecast, but still opened the company up to takeover speculation. Numis analyst Wyn Ellis said: “Weak underlying trading in China and North America in the wake of SABMiller’s rebuffed approach for Heineken in the autumn means that SABMiller remains a potential AB InBev acquisition target, in our view.”

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