Global brewer SABMiller reported a 3 percent rise in beer volumes in the last three months of 2011, matching forecasts, led by the emerging markets of Africa and Latin America which helped offset falls in North America and Europe.

The world's second-largest brewer and maker of Miller Lite, Peroni and Grolsch said on Thursday that beer price rises helped the group to push up its underlying revenue in its October-December third-quarter by 7 percent.

London-based SABMiller added its financial performance was in line with its expectations as price rises helped offset moderate rises in raw materials like barley, wheat and corn as analysts look for flat profit margins for its year.

The brewer, which makes 70 percent of profits in emerging markets, has been helped by its lower exposure to flat western beer market compared to its three big rivals Anheuser-Busch InBev , Heineken and Carlsberg .

Investors were looking for a 3 percent rise in underlying third-quarter volumes, based on a Reuters survey of 10 brokers. This was after a similar April-Sept first-half rise made up of a strong first quarter ahead 5 percent and a flat second quarter hit by rain and cold weather in China and eastern Europe.

(Reporting by David Jones)