SABMiller, the brewer that’s due to be bought by rival Anheuser-Busch InBev later this year, reported a gain in fourth-quarter beer shipments, led by growth in Africa and Latin America.
Organic lager volume rose 3 per cent in the three months ended March 31, London-based SABMiller said in a statement Thursday. Net producer revenue, a measure that excludes excise taxes, increased 5 percent for the year.
The maker of Blue Moon wheat ale and Pilsner Urquell lager is cutting costs as it awaits approval from regulators for its takeover by Leuven, Belgium-based AB InBev. SABMiller’s suitor is selling the company’s so-called premium brands Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime in Europe to satisfy antitrust concern as it seeks to close the deal in the second half.
“We have had a strong year and increased momentum in the second half across all our regions notwithstanding economic volatility and the potential distraction of the AB InBev offer,” Chief Executive Officer Alan Clark said in the statement.
The company said beer volume growth in Latin America accelerated in the second half of the year, fueled by Colombia, where SABMiller is the biggest brewer. In Africa, lager shipments rose 5 per cent, helped by South Africa.
News by Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Ireland