SABMiller bucks a declining UK beer market

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SABMiller announces that its UK subsidiary, Miller Brands UK, has delivered another strong period of lager volume growth during its first half year ending 30 September 2012. Against the backdrop of a declining UK beer market (total beer volumes fell by 4.6% to the end of Septemberi) Miller Brands UK grew domestic volumes by 5% in the half with the performance being led by strong sales of Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

Total Peroni volumes in the UK grew by mid single digits and the brand had a particularly strong half in the on-premise draught channel where volumes increased at more than double that rate. The business also more than doubled volumes of Kozel, which is a 4% ABV Czech pilsner launched in the UK in 2010 and is available exclusively on draught in this country.

A further indication of Miller Brands’ commitment to supporting the British pub industry is evidenced by the strong results of Pilsner Urquell draught, which has delivered double digit growth versus the previous year following extensive investment in on-trade promotions over the period.

Miller Brands Managing Director, Gary Haigh, says:
“Our growth in the on-premise draught channel, led by Peroni, is particularly pleasing and represents a bright spot in an otherwise challenging environment for the UK beer industry. Despite the British weather this summer, we had a good first half and our performance demonstrates the resilience of high quality, premium brands as far as the UK consumer is concerned.”