UPDATE 2-Pricey beers lift SABMiller's quarterly underlying sales
* Second-quarter revenue up 6 pct, volume up 2 pct
* Currency depreciation curbed sales, profits
* Says committed to performance, employees during takeover period (Adds comments by CEO, analyst)
By Martinne Geller
LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Demand for higher-priced beers helped SABMiller to report a pick-up in quarterly underlying sales despite currency headwinds, a day after it formally received a $100-billion-plus takeover bid from industry leader Anheuser-Busch InBev.
The maker of beers such as Peroni and Grolsch said on Thursday its performance accelerated in the second quarter, with underlying revenue rising 6 percent and beverage volume up 2 percent from the prior year.
Fueled by strong gains in Africa and Latin America, and success in selling more higher-priced drinks including Castle Lite in South Africa and Cusquena in Peru, the results are an improvement from a 3 percent rise in revenue and flat volumes in the first quarter.
Yet SABMiller is being hammered by the weakness of various operating currencies including the Colombian peso, Australian dollar and South African rand, which make raw materials like barley and aluminum more expensive for local units, and then reduces the value of those units' revenues.
"It's a good business, but it's under an awful lot of pressure," Bernstein Research analyst Trevor Stirling said, adding that currencies were a major reason for a decline in the share price earlier this year. Continuación...