The UK-based international brewing group, SABMiller, said its earnings in the first quarter had shown a "satisfactory increase", driven by its strength in Europe and South Africa and favourable currency exchange.

The company added that earnings from the US brewer, Miller, which the company acquired a year ago, were below the level of the corresponding period last year but were in line with expectations.

SABMiller said beer volumes in South Africa were up by 3.8% year-on-year, while European volumes were also higher. However, adverse economic conditions in Honduras and El Salvador were continuing to impact negatively on its Central American activities.