UK beer volumes fell by 16% in the second quarter of the year at AB InBev, as the Stella Artois brewer struggled to match its performance during last year’s World Cup.

But the company was buoyed by a strong performance for its cider debutant, Stella Cidre, which it said had claimed a 16% share of the premium cider category in its first three months since launch.

Despite volumes falling in key markets including Brazil and the US, overall sales were up 3.7% in the second quarter to $10bn (£6.1bn). Sales for the first half of the year were up 4.6% against the equivalent period last year.

Price hikes meant the brewer improved its underlying profits for the period by 6% to $3.7bn.

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