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Domestic brewers report strong growth in Q3
( 2003-10-22 11:33) (Shanghai Daily)

China's two major beer makers both reported strong growth in earnings in the third quarter, and analysts attributed the surprisingly good results to recent acquisitions and consolidation among the brewers.

Beijing Yanjing Beer Group Corp, the country's second-largest brewer, posted a 251.01 million yuan (US$30.28 million) net profit in the third quarter, an increase of 21.1 percent from the same period last year.

Its earnings per share grew 44.29 percent to 0.38 yuan per share, according to Yanjing's third-quarter financial report released yesterday.

Meanwhile, China's ninth-largest brewer, Fujian Huiquan Beer Inc Ltd, reported a net profit of 22.84 million yuan, a gain of 40.65 percent.

"The result is quite unexpected," said Jiang Jian, an analyst with Haitong Securities Co Ltd. "Yanjing's quick and large-scale acquisition may be the main contribution to the jump in earnings."

In July, Yanjing announced that it bought a 38.15-percent stake in Fujian Huiquan, becoming the largest shareholder in Fujian Province's biggest beer maker. In the past two years, Yanjing had taken over 14 brewers, which will enlarge its production capacity to 2.4 million tons this year.

"Different from the country's No 1 beer maker Tsingtao Brewery Group Co, Yanjing is a selective buyer. Yanjing's acquisition targets are more famous," Jiang said.

Li Yingjuan, Yanjing's vice general manager, said the company's rapid expansion to markets outside Beijing also helped in its growth.

"My company's consolidation effort has begun to show.

"As a top brand in Beijing, we have been vigorously exploring markets elsewhere and taking over qualified domestic brewers," said Li, who forecasts the company's profit growth will reach 20 percent for the whole year.

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