Peroni maker SAB Miller has reported a rise in first half larger sales despite slipping volumes in Europe thanks to strong gains in Asia and Africa.

Lager volumes in Europe were down 5% during the six-month period ended 30 September, on the back of weak economic conditions across the region.

Volumes in Romania fell by 11% with July’s VAT increase and other government austerity measures exacerbating performance.

However, this was countered by gains in developing countries that lifted overall volumes 1% on the previous year. Soft drinks volumes were also 2% ahead of the prior year.

Africa saw lager volumes for the six months rocket 11% with particularly strong performance in Uganda which was 23% higher thanks to an expanded portfolio of brands.

Meanwhile the company resumed reporting of its 36% stake in Delta Corp in Zimbabwe after ceasing in 2006 because of the country’s deteriorating economy.

SAB Miller said the strengthening of key operating currencies against the US dollar assisted results for the half-year with overall financial performance “in line with expectations.”

Lager volumes in Asia grew 10%, with strong Chinese growth supported by investment in sales and marketing activities. 

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Euro volumes slump hits profits at SAB Miller (20 May 2010)
Lager volumes slump in Europe for SABMiller (20 April 2010)