The world’s largest brewer by sales reported better than expected results for the three months to 31 March as marketing activity in Europe, Asia and African also helped grow global volume sales by 4 per cent.
In Europe, fourth quarter lager volumes jumped 3 per cent and rose 6 per cent for the full year. SABMiller attributed the quarterly rise to successful launches of brand and pack innovations across its portfolio of brands including Peroni and Grolsch. It adds consumers buying ahead of price increases at the end of March 2013 also impacted sales.
The brewer is currently staging a Peroni-branded opera in the UK to build awareness around the beer’s Italian heritage and is also using Facebook as a hub for creative fans of its Grolsch lager in key international markets including the UK and Europe to share user-generated content
Global sales for the year were up 10 per cent with revenue during the first half of 2012 lifted by the European Championship 2012 football tournament.
SABMiller’s gains across Europe buck a declining market that has seen its rivals report flat sales growth over the last 12 months, despite ramping up marketing activity to stimulate demand. Earlier this year, AB Inbev reported a 11.3 per cent sales drop in 2012, while Heineken is ramping up the marketing support for its premium brands to drive sales in a “challenging” European market.
The brewer is preparing to increase its use of digital marketing and is encouraging its top executives to view digital as a “fundamental environment in which to do business”.
Are you interested in hearing more about how to make digital marketing work for your alcohol brand? Diageo’s senior vice president for global marketing innovation Kathy Parker will be speaking about it at this year’s Marketing Week Live. Click here to find out more details.