SABMiller has revealed that beer volume growth slowed during its third quarter after December's cool weather in South Africa hit sales.

The brewing giant today (18 January) reported a 1.8% rise in beer volumes on an organic basis for the three months to 31 December.

SABMiller said it saw a "marginal increase" in beer volumes in South Africa during the quarter with its performance impacted by cool and wet weather during December.

Sales from the brewer's business in the US dipped 1% but SABMiller said that retail sales of its flagship Miller Lite brand continued to grow. The brewer's volumes in Europe rose 4% during the quarter, buoyed by growth in Poland, Russia and Romania.

Strong growth in China drove a 12% leap in volumes from its Africa and Asia business, SABMiller said. The company added that beer volumes were down 7% in Central America, after a duty hike in El Salvador.

Volumes from the recently-acquired Bavaria business were not included in the trading update, which only formally became part of SABMiller in October. However, the company said that on a pro forma basis, volumes in South America rose 7% in the three months to the end of December, thanks to "robust growth" in Peru.

SABMiller said that, for the nine-month period to 31 December, beer volumes were up 4.5%.