30 July 2003
SABMiller plc AGM Trading Statement
London and Johannesburg, 30 July 2003. At the Annual General Meeting of
SABMiller plc (SABMiller) today, Graham Mackay, chief executive of SABMiller,
commented on the group's overall performance for the three months ended 30 June
Mr Mackay said: 'The group has recorded a strong performance for the quarter to
30 June 2003 with good contributions from our businesses in Europe, South Africa
and Africa & Asia, whilst the North America and Central America operations have
performed as expected at the time of our preliminary results announcement in May
of this year. Assisted by favourable currency movements, adjusted earnings per
share for this period show a satisfactory increase over the comparable period
'Our European businesses have produced strong results, with good summer weather
contributing to the volume growth achieved in all our markets. Financial
performance in the quarter was assisted by pricing benefits and the strength of
Central European currencies.
'The Africa & Asia businesses continue to perform well, with earnings ahead of
the prior year, even though earnings were negatively impacted by SARS in China.
We continue to benefit from relative currency stability in Africa.
'In South Africa, beer volumes have continued to grow, with beer gaining share
of the total liquor market at the expense of spirits and wine, and are up 3.8%
on the prior year after adjusting for the timing of Easter. Earnings in local
currency are ahead of expectations, and in US dollar terms have been enhanced by
a stronger South African rand. Both Miller Genuine Draft and Pilsner Urquell
were launched during the quarter, and have been well received by the market.
'In North America, Miller Brewing Company ('Miller') profitability in the
quarter is lower than the comparable prior year period, but in line with our
expectations. Miller has now been integrated into the group, and we continue
with our plans to establish a platform for growth over the next three years.
'Weak economic conditions in both Honduras and El Salvador and competitive
pressure in the carbonated soft drink market continue to impact our Central
America businesses. The restructuring programme to reduce the cost base in both
countries is proceeding according to plan.
Notes to editors:
SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers, with 2002/03 lager volumes
in excess of 115 million hectolitres. It has a brewing presence in over 40
countries across four continents and a portfolio of strong brands and leading
market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations.
Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola
products in the world.
In the year ended 31 March 2003, the group generated US$770 million pre-tax
profit from a turnover of US$9,112 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the
London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
Sue Clark Tel: +44 (0) 20 7659 0184
Director of Corporate Affairs Mob: +44 (0) 7850 285471
Anna Miller Salzman Tel: +44 (0) 20 7659 0106
Head of Investor Relations Mob: +44 (0) 7973 837070
Ciaran Baker Tel: +44 (0) 20 7659 0120
Head of Corporate Communications Mob: +44 (0) 7979 954 493
Angus Maitland Tel: +44 (0) 20 73795151
The Maitland Consultancy Ltd Mob: +44 (0) 7785 268 283
This announcement is available on the company website. www.sabmiller.com
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