SAB Miller, the global brewer, has reported that lager volumes were up by around 35% in the UK during its first quarter of 2011. The company said the increase had been driven by a comparable improvement in sales of Peroni and growth for Miller Genuine Draft, which had benefited as a result of World Cup promotional activity. It gave no indication of a breakdown between the on and off-trade. Worldwide, volumes for lager and soft drinks, during the quarter were down by 1%. Regionally, Europe suffered from a 9% fall in lager volumes – which it said related to regional excise increases, the timing of Easter and poor weather. Graham Mackay, the London-listed company’s chief executive, said: “As anticipated at the start of the year, consumer demand has remained uneven, with improvements seen in some countries and weakness in others. “However lager volume performance improved through the quarter on an organic basis, showing growth in June compared to the prior year. “Results benefited from the impact of pricing despite increased excise-related taxes, and from some reductions in raw material input costs. We continued to increase our investment in brands and other market facing activities. “Overall, the financial performance of the group in the quarter was in line with our expectations.”