SABMiller reports dip in demand

SABMiller, owner of the Miller Lite, Peroni and Grolsch brands, says that sales of its lagers fell 1% in the last quarter as the economic downturn impacted demand.

The brewing giant says lager volumes fell 1% in the three months to March 31 on an organic basis, blaming deteriorating economic conditions and a fall in consumer demand in the last quarter.

Despite the gloomy assessment of the last three months, the brewer says lager volumes for the year to the end of March are 2% ahead of the prior year and that results for the full year “remain in line our expectations”.

Flat growth in Europe, which the brewer says reflected the “impact of the economic downturn on consumer disposable income”, was offset in by an increase in volumes in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The group adds that total revenues continue to benefit from price increases and are expected to be “high single digits” at a constant rate of exchange.

SABMiller, the second largest brewer in the world after Anheuser-Busch InBev, promoted its European marketing director Chris Taylor to the new position of group international brand director last September.

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