SABMiller Quarterly Sales Miss Estimates Amid Poland Slump

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SABMiller Plc, the world’s second-largest brewer, reported sales for the first quarter that missed analysts’ estimates amid plunging volume in Poland.

The removal of the company’s products from Zabka, a Polish convenience-store chain, drove a 17 percent slump in revenue from that country, the London-based maker of Grolsch and Peroni said Thursday. The performance weighed on group revenue, which advanced 3 percent on an organic, constant-currency basis, less than the median of 18 estimates for a 3.8 percent gain.

“Performance has been slightly worse than already muted expectations,” Eddy Hargreaves, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity in London, said in an e-mail.

Poland capped a difficult quarter for the brewer in Europe, with lager volume in the region declining 8 percent, the steepest quarterly drop since 2010. In addition to the delisting from Zabka, Polish business was hurt by adverse price positioning relative to competitors, SABMiller said. The brewer’s products were restored to Zabka’s shelves July 1 after a six-month absence, a company spokesman said.

SABMiller shares fell 0.1 percent to 3,436 pence at 8:01 a.m. in London. They’ve risen 2.4 percent this year.

Growth in Latin America and Africa was tempered by the challenging quarter in Europe and weaker volume in China, Chief Executive Officer Alan Clark said in a statement.

Buying Meantime

The world’s largest brewers are increasingly depending on emerging markets amid stagnant sales in Europe and North America. SABMiller warned in May that it expected currency headwinds and business conditions to remain challenging. To adapt to a craft-beer boom that has hurt sales of bigger established brands, SABMiller this year acquired Meantime Brewing Co., an independent London-based brewer.

Group lager volume in the quarter fell 1 percent. Analysts expected a 1 percent increase, according to the median of 15 estimates. SABMiller reports net producer revenue, which does not include excise duty and similar taxes.

All the major currencies that SABMiller operates in have declined against the dollar during the period, which reduced the value of sales abroad when translated into dollars, the company’s reporting currency.

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