Sales speed up at SABMiller, but volume growth wobbles

Beverages giant SABMiller, the company famous for Miller Lite and Foster's brands, said that trading in the third quarter was in line with expectations with revenue growth accelerating from the first six months of the year.

Beverages giant SABMiller, the company famous for Miller Lite and Foster's brands, said that trading in the third quarter was in line with expectations with revenue growth accelerating from the first six months of the year.

Reported revenues, which include the effect of acquisitions and disposals, increased by 17% year-on-year in the three months to December 31st 2012, well ahead of the 11% rise reported in the first half.

On an organic basis, which excludes acquisitions and disposals, this translated to growth of 8.0%, unchanged from the first half, cemented by selective price increase and improved brand mix in most region, the company said on Tuesday.

However, organic lager volumes for the quarter rose by just 2.0% on last year, below the 4.0% increase in the first half, as accelerating growth in its biggest market, Latin America, was offset by a slowdown in Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific.

In Europe specifically, the company said that lager volumes were affected by "depressed consumer confidence".

Meanwhile, SABMiller said that soft drinks volume growth on an organic basis fell from 6.0% to 3.0% over the quarter.

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