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SABMiller PLC (SAB)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Tuesday 31 July, 2007

SABMiller PLC

Interim Management Statement

SABMiller PLC
31 July 2007



31 July 2007

                   SABMiller plc Interim Management Statement


At the Annual General Meeting of SABMiller plc (SABMiller) today, Graham Mackay,
chief executive of SABMiller, commented on the group's performance for the three
months ended 30 June 2007. The calculation of the organic growth rates included
below excludes volumes for acquired businesses for the first 12 months after an
acquisition.


Mr Mackay said: 'The group has made a strong start to the year, recording 17%
growth in lager volumes, with organic growth of 13%, and achieved a good
financial performance in the first quarter, in which revenue growth was
partially offset by higher input costs and increased investment across the
business.


'In Latin America, lager volumes for the quarter rose by 12%. Strong volume
performances in Colombia and Peru reflect continuing favourable economic
conditions and the ongoing impact of our initiatives to rejuvenate the beer
category. These initiatives include the introduction of new containers and
brands and increased investment in marketing as well as in merchandising. In
Colombia, our biggest brand, Aguila, has been relaunched successfully in the
quarter and we are restructuring our route to market. In Peru, volumes of our
leading brand, Cristal, remain strong following the recent packaging changes and
have led to continuing share gains.


'Our Europe business once again performed strongly, with volume growth of 17%
and share gains in most markets. April and May sales were particularly strong,
assisted by warm weather across the region, although June experienced wetter
weather resulting in lower volume growth in the month. Poland achieved growth of
20% across the portfolio, notwithstanding challenging comparatives which
included the benefits of the soccer World Cup. Volumes in Russia were also up by
20% led by Zolotaya Bochka, MGD and Redds, although this strong growth is
leading to some capacity constraints. Romania grew by 52%, driven by our
Timisoreana brand and the success of its new PET packaging, and benefiting from
increased capacity introduced in the first half of the prior year. Czech
Republic achieved domestic growth in volumes of 10%, led by our Gambrinus and
Kozel brands. In Italy, branded domestic volume increased by 3%.


'In North America, Miller's US domestic sales to retailers (STRs) increased by
4.6% compared to the prior year, but were down 0.7% on an organic basis (
excluding Sparks and Steel Reserve, acquired in August 2006) as Miller drove
higher pricing across its portfolio. Miller Lite brand volumes were level with
the prior year and STRs of the worthmore portfolio, including Sparks, were up
63%. As Miller continues to migrate its brand portfolio to higher growth
worthmore brands, the Peroni, Leinenkugel's and Sparks brands all delivered
double digit volume growth. Early in its national rollout, Miller Chill
delivered strong volume growth well ahead of target.


'The Africa & Asia business achieved organic growth of 23% in lager volumes,
with China continuing to record strong growth. In Africa (excluding Zimbabwe),
lager volumes grew by 5% on an organic basis, with a good start to the year in
Tanzania and Mozambique and growth in Botswana after two difficult years.


'In South Africa, our lager volumes were up 4%. This performance reflects growth
across all of our brands, with good growth in the mainstream segment and the
successful launch of our premium brand, Hanza Marzen Gold, in early May. Soft
drink volumes grew by 13% reflecting the favourable weather conditions
prevailing in April and May, and ongoing trade restocking following some carbon
dioxide shortages at the end of the prior year.


'Our South African holding company has recently raised R1,600 million
(approximately US$230 million) in 5-year notes. The notes, issued under a R4,000
million Domestic Medium Term Note Programme, are guaranteed by SABMiller plc and
are listed on BESA, the South African Bond Exchange. The net proceeds of the
bond issue have been used to repay part of existing loan facilities that were
utilised by The South African Breweries Ltd'



Ends


Notes to editors:

SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests or
distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. The group's
brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni
Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as an exceptional range of market
leading local brands.  Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest
bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.

In the year ended 31 March 2007, the group reported US$3,154 million in adjusted
pre-tax profit and revenue of $18,620 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the
London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.


This announcement is available on the company website: www.sabmiller.com


High resolution images are available for the media to view and download free of
charge from: www.newscast.co.uk or www.sabmiller.com







Enquiries:

SABMiller plc                                         Tel: +44 20 7659 0100

Sue Clark         Director of Corporate Affairs       Tel: +44 20 7659 0184

Gary Leibowitz    Senior Vice President,              Tel: +44 20 7659 0119
                  Investor Relations

Nigel Fairbrass   Head of Media Relations             Tel: +44 7799 894265



This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or issue or the
solicitation of an offer to buy or acquire securities of SABMiller plc (the
'Company') or any of its affiliates in any jurisdiction or an inducement to
enter into investment activity.

This document includes 'forward-looking statements'. These statements may
contain the words 'anticipate', 'believe', 'intend', 'estimate', 'expect' and
words of similar meaning. All statements other than statements of historical
facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those
regarding the Company's financial position, business strategy, plans and
objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and
objectives relating to the Company's products and services) are forward-looking
statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other important factors that could cause the actual results,
performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from
future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on
numerous assumptions regarding the Company's present and future business
strategies and the environment in which the Company will operate in the future.
These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this announcement.
The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any
updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this
announcement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with regard
thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such
statement is based. Any information contained in this announcement on the price
at which the Company's securities have been bought or sold in the past, or on
the yield on such securities, should not be relied upon as a guide to future
performance.









                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange