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SABMiller highlights sales growth as AB InBev mulls bid

SABMiller, the brewing giant in talks about a potential takeover by rival Anheuser-Busch InBev, reported a 2 percent rise in second-quarter sales volumes on Tuesday which it said reflected the strength of its long-term business model.

The company, whose beer brands include Peroni and Grolsch, said it had brought forward the release of its trading update for the six months ended Sept. 30 in order to ensure the timely release of information during what is classed as an offer period.

"While adverse currency movements have materially impacted our reported results, we have a strong business with exceptional long-term prospects," Chief

Executive Alan Clark said in a statement. "Our strategic priority of driving superior top-line growth through strengthening our brand portfolios and expanding the beer category is showing clear results."


InBev SABMiller
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Growth was driven by demand in its Latin American and African markets, which offset small declines in Asia Pacific and North America.

Underlying first-half revenue, excluding currency effects, rose 4 percent, with volume up 1 percent. The benefit from higher prices was 4 percent.

Yet the weakness of a range of currencies against the U.S. dollar, such as the South African rand, hit the performance, with reported group revenue falling 9 percent in both the first half and second quarter.

Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewer, approached SAB in September about a takeover that would form a colossus producing a third of the world's beer.