SABMiller has doubled its estimate for annual cost and efficiency savings as it seeks to pile pressure on AB InBev to up its takeover bid or walk away from the deal.

In an update to the market this morning SABMiller said it had increased its target annual run rate cost savings from its cost and efficiency programme, announced in May 2014, from $500m by 31 March 2018 to at least $1,050m by 31 March 2020.

SABMiller chief executive Alan Clark said: “Our recent trading statement highlighted our accelerating growth in the second quarter. Another key plank of our strategy is to build a globally integrated organisation to optimise resource, win in market and reduce costs. The measures we are announcing today are a continuation of our existing cost saving programme. Whilst we are already a highly efficient business with strong EBITDA margins of 38%1 across our 20 largest managed beer markets, we are continuing to remove duplication across markets, bringing specialist expertise in areas like procurement under one roof, and standardising common processes. It results in our markets being freed up to concentrate on what they do best - growing revenue with local consumers and customers.”

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