Shares in SABMiller, the brewer of Miller Genuine Draft and Pilsner Urquell, fell 12.5p to 845.5p yesterday after the company announced its third quarter sales results.

Shares fell despite the company’s announcement of strong volume growth, particularly in South Africa, where volumes increased by 4% over its summer period.

Miller sales to retailers in the US fell 0.3% in the quarter compared to the previous year, although the company stated that Miller Lite sales continued to grow in line with expectations.

The company’s Asia and Africa division delivered a 10% rise in lager volumes in the three months to December, and the company also announced yesterday that it plans to launch one of its key brands in China this year.

SABMiller already has a joint venture with a Chinese brewing company, China Resource Enterprise, through which it has gained a 12% share in the Chinese beer market, making it the country’s second largest brewer.

Last year it planned to buy its rival brewer in China, Harbin, but it was beaten to a deal by Anheuser Busch, the producer of Budweiser.