Popular Peroni helps SABMiller in the UK as sales fall elsewhere

City A.M. Reporter
SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer, yesterday fell short of forecasts with a two per cent rise in sales volumes, though UK sales were led nine per cent higher by the popularity of Peroni lager.

Soft drink volumes were up seven per cent worldwide in the final three months of 2013, but were offset by a one per cent rise in lager sales.

Morgan Stanley had expected lager volume of three per cent, while Citi expected lager volume of 1.4 per cent.

SABMiller said growth had been strong in newer markets like Zambia, where a looming hike in excise duty pushed sales up 12 per cent.

A move into pricier premium beers in China coupled with a 13 per cent increase in sales volumes means revenues in the country rose by double digits, SABMiller added.

However, the group was hampered by weak consumer sentiment in Europe and north America.

“Growth in the third quarter was driven by our emerging market businesses where we are successfully targeting new consumers through affordability and premium-isation initiatives across our brand portfolios,” said boss Alan Clark.