Brewer Foster's says consumers remain hesitant because of global economic concerns, but it expects beer sales to improve once economic uncertainty is resolved.Chief executive John Pollaers told the company's annual general meeting in Sydney that beer volumes had been adversely impacted by low consumer confidence, plus exceptional weather events."The market has been in a period of decline since the start of 2010 and reached a low at the start of this year," he said."While there has been some improvement in recent months, consumers remain hesitant given the on-going global economic concerns."Consumer confidence and interest rates will be the key variables impacting the performance of the category over the next 12 months."We believe that once Australia moves through this period of economic uncertainty, the beer category will return to the long-term trend of moderate growth."The AGM may be the last for Foster's shareholders, with a take-over by SABMiller recently approved by the competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).Shareholders are still required to approve the deal.Foster's shares were down one cent, to $5.30, at 1058 AEDT.
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