News: Brewer SABMillers sees lager fall

According to the Associated Press Brewer SABMiller PLC recorded a 1.6 percent fall in lager consumption from existing businesses in the first quarter as consumer cut back spending in some countries, chief executive Graham Mackay said Thursday.

The drop followed an extraordinary high growth of 13 percent in the same period in 2007, lower sales in China and “the moderation of consumer spending in some markets,” Mackay said in a statement.

If SABMiller’s newly acquired businesses are included, the group, which makes Miller, Grolsch and Peroni, recorded a 1.5 percent growth in lager sales in the three months ending June 30, 2008, the trading update said.

In China, sales were down 5 percent, affected by the Sichuan earthquake on May 12 which killed nearly 70,000 people, consumer price inflation and higher beer industry prices. In the previous year, sales had grown in China by 25 percent.

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