SABMiller beer volumes up

City A.M. Reporter
BREWER SABMiller reported a rise in first-quarter beer volumes, led by continued growth in emerging markets, but kept the market guessing whether it will sweeten its bid for Australia’s Foster.

The world’s second-largest brewer and maker of Miller Lite, Peroni and Pilsner Urquell said yesterday that underlying beer and soft drink volumes grew five per cent year-on-year.

Price rises also helped the group to push up revenues in its April-June quarter by seven per cent, it said in a trading statement.

The company said that the jump in volumes reflected growth in consumer spending in many developing markets, and a relatively weak comparative quarter in the prior year.

The firm added that its financial performance was in line with its expectations as it made selective price rises to offset a moderate rise in raw material costs.

But the firm suffered a bloody nose in its annual shareholder meeting yesterday afternoon, when 16 per cent of its investors voted against the pay packages of directors, on an 86.5 per cent turnout. All resolutions at the meeting were passed.

Shares in SABMiller, which have soared over the last month, closed 0.24 per cent down at £23.10.