By Ian Neubauer
Lion Nathan has announced revenue growth of six per cent and a fall in beer volume of 1 per cent in its trading update for the quarter ended December 31.
Revenue growth was driven by a consumer shift to premium beers, continuing increase in the value and volume share of the company’s biggest selling brand, XXXX Gold, and sales growth in its UK wine business, which exceeded 20 per cent.
Lion Nathan said the fall in beer volume to 202.3 million litres was in line with the decline in the market. Tap volumes were impacted in most states, particularly in NSW, where smoking bans and wet summer conditions had dampened demanded during the traditional peak selling period.
“Our business has continued to perform strongly in the first quarter of 2008, reflecting good momentum in all our business segments,” said Lion Nathan CEO, Rob Murray. “It is pleasing to see mix shifts and innovation driving value growth, which has helped offset two years of extraordinary cost inflation.
“We look forward to integrating and building the Boag’s brands, which will also be important contributors to our success over the coming years,” he said, referring to the $325 million acquisition of premium Tasmanian brewer last month.
Lion Nathan shares were trading at $9.23 this morning.