SABMiller announces new brewing research centre on results day

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Innovation

SABMiller is building a brewing research centre in the UK that it believes could deliver a “quantum leap” in beer innovation.

The brewer is investing £3m in the facility, which is to be housed at the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham.

Brewing priorities

Under the guidance of Professor Katherine Smart, the SABMiller chair of brewing science, the researchers at the facility will work on ways to improve the sustainability and resource efficiency of beer production. Another goal will be to pursue developments that deliver consumer benefits such as longer shelf life.

Two focus areas for the team will be process innovation and novel uses of brewing by-products.

Graham Mackay, SABMiller CEO, said the foundation of the research facility is vital to achieving improvements in water and energy efficiency.

And Professor Barry Axcell, chief brewer at SABMiller, added that there is plenty of scope to advance the brewing process as it stands.

Axcell said: “The brewing process has remained largely unchanged for many years and, compared to wine, spirits and cider, has been woefully slow to innovate.

“The new brewing research facility has the potential to drive a quantum leap in technological and process innovation to deliver genuine competitive advantage for SABMiller.”

Full year results

The brewer announced that creation of the research institute as it released its financial results for the full year ending 31 March.

Bolstered by the strength of Asian and African markets, SAB Miller said like-for-like revenue was up 5 per cent to $28,311m. And SABMiller succeeded in expanding its margins and delivering an increase in organic EBITA of 12 per cent.

Mackay said: “I think our results for this year have been extremely strong indeed, particularly when you consider that the background trading conditions are still pretty mixed.”

He added: “Underlying these financial results we’ve seen some improvements in gross profit as a result of a moderate decline in raw material prices and we have implemented some price increases across the board where our brand strength has allowed that.”

Related topics: Processing & Packaging, SABMiller

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