Pilsner Urquell shopping

Pilsner Urquell sales helped lift SABMiller’s performance in the UK

Lager sales at SABMiller’s British division Miller Brands UK have risen 5% year-on-year, the company has revealed.

In its interim results for the six months to 30 September 2013, the brewer said UK performance had been driven by strong sales of Pilsner Urquell and Peroni Nastro Azzurro, particularly during the summer heatwave.

Meanwhile, overall profit at SABMiller grew 9% year-on-year from £1.58bn to £1.71bn on net revenue up 1% to £13.8bn. The company said today it had enjoyed strong growth in Africa and China, but added that conditions in North America and Europe remained challenging, and that performance in Latin America had been impacted by an excise increase in Peru and social unrest in Colombia.

“We have continued to deliver on the potential of our businesses in both developed and developing markets, with revenue and margin improvements amid mixed trading conditions,” said SABMiller CEO Alan Clark.

“We have improved the reach of our mainstream brands across most regions. Through initiatives such as the launch of Redd’s Apple Ale in the US, the momentum behind Castle Lite across Africa, and the increasing appeal of Peroni Nastro Azzurro from Europe to Australia, we are strengthening our premium propositions across the group and evolving our high-end brand portfolios to appeal to an ever wider range of consumers and drinking occasions.”

Pilsner Urquell beer tanks

SABMiller is expanding beer tanks in pubs

Miller Brands UK also announced it would be expanding on-trade distribution of unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell tank beer following a successful trial in London this summer. Tank beer is served fresh, and is delivered within 24 hours directly from the brewery in Pilsen to the UK, where it is pumped into 880-pint copper tanks that are installed and displayed in the pub. MBUK is to install further Pilsner Urquell tanks in London locations in the coming year.

“The British beer drinker is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan which makes this an ideal market in which to introduce international beers served in the authentic way,” said Miller Brands UK MD Gary Haigh. “The expansion of Pilsner Urquell tank beer in the UK marks a real innovation in the consumer experience and enjoyment of beer in this country.”