SABMiller, the world’s second-biggest brewer, reported fourth-quarter beer sales that beat estimates because of growing consumption in Africa and a rebound in China.
Organic lager volume rose 2 per cent in the three months ended 31 March, the London-based brewer said in a statement Thursday, compared with the 0.4 per cent increase expected by seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Net producer revenue, a measure that excludes excise taxes, increased 4 per cent for the full year, below analysts’ estimates.
The maker of Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell beer is grappling with a rising dollar and a slowdown in Asia, as it has the largest exposure to emerging markets of any global brewer. Chief executive officer Alan Clark is looking to gain drinkers in its traditional home market of Africa, and expanding its soft-drink business to offset sluggish growth of lagers.
“Our topline performance was strong in the final quarter, driven by double digit revenue growth in Africa and sustained growth in Latin America,” Clark said in the statement. “Asia Pacific also returned to growth during the last three months of the year as lager volumes in China returned to growth.”
Bloomberg News, edited by Hospitality Ireland