BREWER SABMiller saw lager volumes rise eight per cent in Europe during the past five months, driven by a strong performance in Russia and the successful integration of Italian brewer Peroni.

The world's second largest brewer, which bought Peroni in June, said lager volumes were up almost four per cent in the five months to August 31, not counting the contribution from of acquisitions.

Updating investors ahead of its interim results in November, SABMiller said its African and Asian business saw a three per cent increase in organic volumes during the previous year, despite the negative impact of Sars in China and economic turmoil in Zimbabwe.

It said restructuring initiatives in East Africa had enhanced the performance of its operations in the region.