Export sales have continued to drive beer sales at Fuller, Smith & Turner in its fiscal third-quarter, as the UK Government pledges more support for the country's food and drink exporters. 

Fuller's has seen own-brewed beer sales creep up by 1% in volume for the 42 weeks to 21 January. The increase suggests momentum has slowed since the first half of the firm's year, when own-brewed volumes were up by 2% on the previous year.  

However, the group has remained in positive territory, unlike the UK beer market, which shrank by around 3% in calendar 2011.

A spokesperson for Fuller's told just-drinks today (27 January) that exports have continued to drive performance in its year-to-date. "Our biggest markets are the US and Russia, but we're seeing more and more demand in the Far East," she said.

At its half-year results in November, the London Pride brewer said that it was exporting one sixth of its beer production. Visits to the firm's brewery in West London are helping to build demand, which may get a further boost when the city hosts the Olympic Games this summer.

Fuller's could also get a lift from a new UK Government strategy to push food and drink exports. Ministers plan to appoint a business ambassador this year to help open new markets via trade shows, publicity and by lobbying for tariff reductions. 

Beer is the UK's third-biggest food and drink export, behind "miscellaneous food prep" and Scotch whisky. In 2010, beer exports totalled GBP536m (US$840m), although Scotch exports generated GBP3.5bn, according to a report released by the Government today.