Price hikes meant third-quarter profits rose at the world’s largest brewer, despite a slight dip in beer volumes.

AB InBev said profits for the past three months were up 5.5% to $3.97bn (£2.49bn), slightly ahead of analysts’ forecasts.

Revenues for the period were up 3.6%, despite a fall in beer volumes of 0.6%. Among its leading brands, sales of Stella Artois rose in Britain and the US, the company said, while Chinese drinkers helped themselves to more Budweiser.

News of the performance comes after AB InBev last month announced it was pushing through a further rise in wholesale beer prices of almost 8% to compensate for higher input costs.

“We are delighted with the response to Stella Artois Cidre in the UK, which continues to exceed expectations,” said outgoing UK chief Stuart MacFarlane. “It has taken a 16% share of the UK off-trade premium cider market after just six months, despite difficult economic conditions and poor summer weather.”

He added: “Overall UK beer performance remains strong despite a challenging quarter and tough comparables following the 2010 FIFA World Cup.”

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