SABMiller reports weak Chinese demand

Weak growth in China held back SABMiller in the three months to December, as lager volumes fell three per cent.

The decline in China, which SABMiller said was mainly due to an “exceptionally cold and wet winter” across the country, weighed on lager volumes in the Asia Pacific region, which overall fell by one per cent.

Over the brewer’s third quarter as a whole, lager volumes were two per cent up year on year and soft drinks volumes were three per cent higher.

The brewer of Colombia's Aguila and Peru's Cusquena said lager volumes rose six per cent in its key Latin American region.

The company, which also makes Miller Lite, Grolsch and Peroni beers, said depressed consumer confidence continued to weigh on demand in Europe, where lager volumes rose one per cent.

Financial performance over the three months was in line with expectations, and group revenue was up 17 per cent compared with the previous year, SABMiller said.