Lager brewing leviathan SABMiller saw group revenue grow by one-tenth in the final quarter of its financial year on an organic constant currency basis, with revenue per hectolitre up by one-twentieth year-on-year.
On the same basis, group revenue for the full year grew by 7%, with group revenue per hectolitre up by 4%.
On an organic basis lager volumes were 3% ahead of the prior year for both the year and the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter production growth was in line with forecasts by Credit Suisse but below the 3.3% predicted by another stockbroker, Jefferies.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
Soft drinks volumes were 7% higher than the prior year, and 12% higher in the final quarter, both on an organic basis.
"The group's overall financial performance is in line with our expectations," the company statement revealed.
Regional break-downAs expected, growth in Latin America and Africa compensated for sluggish demand in Europe and North America.
Latin America's lager volumes were up 8% on an organic basis compared with the prior year, with healthy growth sustained through the fourth quarter. Soft drinks volumes across the Latin America region were up 10%, showing strong growth across all categories, with SABMiller's non-alcoholic malt brands' volumes up 16% for the year.
Africa's full year lager volumes grew by 13% on an organic basis, with fourth quarter organic growth of 14%, despite strong prior year comparatives and emerging capacity constraints in some markets, SABMiller said.
In South Africa - a key market for the group ("SAB" stands for South Africa Breweries) - lager volumes for the year grew by 2% and were up 6% in the fourth quarter reflecting a strengthening competitive position.
In Europe full year lager volumes declined by 1% on an organic basis as beer market growth continued to be subdued and competitors aggressively promoted economy brands and packs. Fourth quarter volumes were down 2% in Europe, in line with forecasts by Credit Suisse.
For the 12 months ended March 31st, 2012, MillerCoors' US domestic sales to retailers were down 2.4%, with a 1.6% decline in the quarter to March on a trading day adjusted basis.
The mainstream beer segment in the US has continued to be affected by economic pressure on key consumer demographics. Domestic sales to wholesalers declined 2.7% for the year ended 31 March 2012, with a 0.9% decline in the fourth quarter.
Lager volumes in the Asia Pacific region grew by 4% for the year on an organic basis and by 1% in the fourth quarter.
Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland to shut another 45 branches
Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Halifax and Bank of Scotland, is set to close a further 45 branches in 2024 - find out if a branch near you is closing.
By Vaishali Varu Published
US stock trading app Robinhood launches in the UK
The low-cost trading platform has opened another waiting list for British investors - following two failed attempts to launch in this country - and is hoping to be fully operational next year.
By Ruth Emery Published