Emerging markets drive sales increase for SABMiller

SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer, has announced an increase in worldwide sales with domestic volumes in the UK up nine per cent led by Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

Net producer revenue of four per cent for the third quarter. Total beverage volumes grew by two per cent for the third quarter on an organic basis, with lager volumes up one per cent and soft drinks volumes up seven per cent.

Growth was largely driven by the brewer's strength in emerging markets where it has leading positions. However, the group was hampered by weak consumer sentiment in its European and North American businesses.

Alan Clark, chief executive of SABMiller, commented:

Growth in the third quarter was driven by our emerging market businesses where we are successfully targeting new consumers through affordability and premiumisation initiatives across our brand portfolios. The combination of pricing and volume growth, particularly in Africa, Latin America and China, supported net producer revenue growth of four percent.

Strength in emerging markets offset by weakness in developed markets, continues the story seen in the company's half-year results released in November.

In November SABMiller saw volume gains of nine per cent in Africa, four per cent in Asia Pacific and one per cent in Latin America which were tempered by declines of four per cent in Europe and three per cent in North America in the six months ended 30 September.

In the run up to today's results four analysts rated the stock with a 'sell' rating, fifteen assigned a 'hold' rating and thirteen issued a 'buy' rating to the company.