SABMiller reports growth in Africa beer sales

SABMiller, the world’s second largest brewer by volume, today said in a statement that lager volumes in Africa grew by 11% on an organic basis during the six-month period ended 30 September 2010.

“Following the stabilisation of the economy in Zimbabwe after the effective adoption of the US dollar as its currency, we have included our share of Zimbabwe’s volumes and results for the first half of this year,” the company said in a statement.

“Excluding Zimbabwe, lager volume growth in Africa would have been 7% for the period, on an organic basis.”

Volumes in Uganda continued to benefit from increased capacity and were 23% ahead with strong momentum from an expanded portfolio of brands.

In Zambia volumes grew by 15% benefiting from an excise reduction at the start of the financial year.

Lager volumes in Tanzania were level with the prior year, with good growth of SABMiller brands, particularly in the local premium segment.

Mozambique delivered 10% lager volume growth assisted by additional capacity installed in the north of the country last year, together with strong local premium brand performance.

In Angola, the new Luanda brewery capacity enabled strong lager volume growth.

Botswana volumes continued to decline. SABMiller’s associate Castel delivered 4% lager volume growth.

Soft drinks volumes ended the half year 5% ahead (1% growth excluding Zimbabwe), with Angola soft drinks volumes level with the prior year.

In South Africa lager volumes were up 3% during the first half in a growing market. Volumes benefited from strong brand building and enhanced retail execution.

The lack of an Easter peak was partially offset by the positive impact of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The cold and wet weather experienced at the beginning of the year gave way to warm and dry conditions in the second quarter, which together with the continued focus on the company’s soft drinks growth strategy, led to volume growth of 3% in soft drinks for the half year.

The calculation of the organic growth rates above excludes the effects of acquisitions and disposals on volumes.