. . .Local volumes drop 11pc

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. . . as volumes grow in other African markets

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ZIMBABWE is the only market in Africa where SAB Miller’s beer and soft drink volumes experienced a decline in the second quarter through September.

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The London headquartered SAB Miller, which is currently in takeover talks with Belgian-based brewer Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev NV, controls 40 percent of Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Delta Corporation.

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In a trading update for the second quarter and half year ended September 30, 2015, released today, the brewer indicated that beverage volumes at the local unit had dropped by 11 percent in the quarter, while net producer revenue (NPR) – a measure of the group’s revenue less excise duties and similar taxes and the group’s share of associates and joint ventures on a similar basis – slumped 6 percent on “continued economic weakness”.

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But other markets on the continent registered significant growth, with lager volumes jumping 3 percent in South Africa, representing the fourth successive quarter of growth despite “a weak economic environment and electricity shortages”.

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NPR growth was captured at 7 percent.

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Volumes for premium lager rose 13 percent led by Castle Lite. Soft drink volumes also did not disappoint as they rose 2 percent in the period.

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In Tanzania, volumes and NPR both increased by 5 percent on strong recovery in lager volumes in the second quarter and strong growth in traditional beer.

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In Mozambique volumes rose 19 percent while NPR spiked 20 percent driven by the mainstream brand 2M and the unit’s cassava-based, Impala brand.

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Zambia also registered a strong performance despite the current economic challenges. In a country that is presently blighted by rolling power blackouts, beverage volumes gained 5 percent.

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There was also a double-digit growth in volumes in Nigeria as the NPR grew to 30 percent.

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Notwithstanding negative growth in Zimbabwe, SABMiller’s beverage volumes rose by 6 percent in the second and 5 percent in the six months to September.

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Details of Belgian-based AB InBev proposed takeover of SABMiller, which is valued at more than $100 billion, was disclosed on September 16.

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Much of SABMiller’s performance in the second quarter was mainly driven by growth in Latin America and Africa.