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SABMiller posts better-than-expected 7 pct rise in third-quarter sales

An Anheuser-Busch InBev NV branded Stella Artois beer, along with SABMiller Plc branded beers.
Halden Krog | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An Anheuser-Busch InBev NV branded Stella Artois beer, along with SABMiller Plc branded beers.

Brewer SABMiller reported a better-than-expected 7 percent rise in underlying third-quarter sales on Thursday, helped by gains in Africa and South America, and stronger growth in Europe, where unseasonably mild weather boosted demand.

The company, which is set to be acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev in the coming months, said volumes grew 4 percent in the quarter to end-December, with lager accelerating to 3 percent and soft drinks up 8 percent.

Analysts had penciled in a 5 percent rise in sales.