Strong sales of premium lager Peroni boosted SABMiller in the six months to September, as its UK arm grew beer sales by five per cent.
Miller Brands bucked the trend of a declining UK beer market – total volumes sank 4.6 per cent in the half year to September – as Peroni Nastro Azzurro volumes grew by “mid single digits”.
Sales of Czech beer Kozel also doubled over the period, SABMiller said.
Miller Brands managing director Gary Haigh hailed the results, calling them a “bright spot” in a challenging environment.
“Our performance demonstrates the resilience of high-quality, premium brands as far as the UK consumer is concerned,” he added.
Overall SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer, posted a 12 per cent rise in first half profit this morning to $2.76bn (£1.73bn), flattered by the acquisition of Foster’s.