Thirst for foreign beers helps SAB

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The Independent Online

Brewing giant SABMiller saw its sales growth in the UK increase in the six months to30 September, as drinkers shelled out extra cash for premium imports. SAB's UK arm, Miller Brands, which sells brands such as Grolsch and Peroni Nastro Azzurro, reported that volume sales of its lagers increased 25 per cent in the six months to 30 September.

The figures, boosted by the football World Cup in June-July, represent a strong increase on the year to 31 March, when volumes grew just 14 per cent. The overall beer market may be in decline in the UK, but Peroni said it is in the "sweet spot" by offering strong, imported lagers – a sector showing good growth. It now boasts a 34 per cent share of "world beer" sales in Britain.

SABMiller said interim global sales rose 7 per cent to $14.2bn (£8.9bn), and pre-exceptional pre-tax profits rose 13 per cent to $1.7bn, helped by strong demand in emerging markets.