Brewer says Sichuan plant damaged

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 May, 2008, 12:00am

Red-chip conglomerate China Resources Enterprise (CRE) disclosed yesterday that the earthquake in Sichuan had hurt beer sales in the province and seriously damaged one of its plants.

'The earthquake affected consumption sentiment,' said managing director Mark Chen Shulin after the company's annual general meeting. 'We're still evaluating the impact on sales volume and profit.'

Sichuan is one of CRE's key beer markets, accounting for about 15 per cent of sales volume last year. The destroyed plant was one of 13 CRE brewers in Sichuan, which has an annual capacity of 20,000 tonnes.

In a joint venture with SAB Miller, CRE sold 7 million tonnes of beer last year, ranking as the country's No1 producer. Mr Chen said the company had raised prices of its beers 10-15 per cent this year to counter surging costs.