SAB Miller saw lager volumes drop 5% in Europe over the past 12 months, reflecting a “continued weak economic environment” and hikes in excise taxes.

The company, whose brands include Groslch, Peroni and Miller, reported that global lager volumes for the year to 31 March were flat, although soft drinks volumes were up 2%.

The group said it had increased investment behind key brands in the second half of the year and insisted the performance was in line with its expectations.

“As anticipated, during the second half, the year-on-year beneficial effect of prior-year price increases and cost efficiencies gradually decreased, but stronger operating currencies will benefit our reported results,” the company said in its latest trading update.

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