Shares in the world's largest brewer were 2.6% higher at €52.40 in early trading, among the best performers in the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European stocks.
AB InBev, which makes around a quarter of all beer drunk globally, said second-quarter volumes fell 1.4% despite growth in most markets. Average prices were up 9.0% year-on-year due to price hikes and as consumers shifted to more expensive drinks.
The maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona said core profit (EBITDA) for the April-June period rose 5.0% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis to $4.91 billion (€4.48 billion), against expectations of a 0.4% increase in a company-compiled poll.
This contrasted with Heineken, the world's second-largest brewer, which reported worse than expected results on Monday and cut its 2023 forecast after a slowdown in Vietnam and price hikes that squeezed volumes.
In China, AB InBev sold 11% more beer by volume and over 20% more higher-priced "premium" beers, pushing revenue and profit there above pre-pandemic levels.
The Belgium-base company said revenue and profits were also higher in major markets Brazil and Mexico, where profit margins rose sharply, as well as Colombia and Europe.
With inflation making goods more expensive nationwide, consumers are trading down to more affordable beers, boosting sales and protecting margins for major beverage players.
Beer is often touted as recession-proof, so large companies may continue to earn solid profits even as economic activity slows.
"Most cost-conscious consumers are still buying the same volume of beer, but in the less expensive category of beer," said Neil Reid, professor of geography at the University of Toledo, who has researched the beer industry.
Article by Reuters, additional reporting by Hospitality Ireland.