UPDATE 2-Cold, damp spring depresses SABMiller's lager sales
* Apr-June lager volumes down 1 pct
* Europe, North America declines outweigh Latam, Africa strength
* Weakness in Australia because of lost brands
* Shares down 3.9 pct, among weakest of European blue-chips
BRUSSELS, July 25 (Reuters) - Cool weather in Europe and the United States depressed lager sales at SABMiller, the world's second-largest beermaker, in the April-June period, sending its share down 4 percent.
The company, which derives two-thirds of its sales from emerging markets, said lager volumes declined by 1 percent versus market expectations for a 2 percent increase, although revenues rose 2 percent on a like-for-like basis.
SABMiller shares were down 4 percent at 1306 GMT, making them among the worst performers in the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares. .
However, they are still the best performing shares of the top brewers in the year to date, up 10.2 percent against a 4.5 percent gain of the STOXX 600 European food and beverage index .
"Clearly, poor weather has had a major impact on the quarter and is set to be a theme for the other European beverage names as we enter the reporting season," said Jefferies analyst Dirk Van Vlaanderen in a note.
Chief Executive Alan Clark said while first quarter revenue growth was held back by the weather this was offset by continued growth in Latin America and Africa.
The maker of the Miller brands, Grolsch and Peroni Nastro Azzurro said lager volumes grew 2 percent in Latin America and rose by 8 percent in Africa outside South Africa.
In Europe, where there was flooding in eastern countries, sales volumes dropped 7 percent, while in the United States its MillerCoors venture with MolsonCoors suffered a 4.4 percent drop in sales to retailers.
The Asia-Pacific region was also muted, but principally due to the loss of brands it had been brewing under licence, such as Corona and Carlsberg. The loss followed SABMiller's 2011 purchase of Foster's.
SABMiller said that if these discontinued Australian brands had been excluded, then overall group volumes would have been flat and revenue per hectolitre would have risen by 3 percent rather than the 2 percent reported.
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