New Tsingtao plant to boost output 8pc

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2006, 12:00am

Tsingtao Brewery, China's largest beer producer, said it planned to spend as much as 300 million yuan to build a factory in Jinan city, Shandong province, which will boost its annual output 8 per cent.

Tsingtao Brewery said it expected the project, which would have an annual output of 400,000 kilolitres, to begin operation at the end of next year and would help the firm gain market share in the province.

The company, about 25 per cent owned by top United States beer producer Anheuser-Busch, sold about 2.27 million kilolitres of beer in the first half, accounting for 13.9 per cent of the national output.

Tsingtao also said it would lift production capacity of its factory in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province to 150,000 kilolitres from the existing 80,000 kilolitres a year. The company expects to spend 62 million yuan for the expansion.

China's brewery industry recorded a growth of 14.2 per cent for the six months to the end of June with a half-yearly output of 16.42 million kilolitres, Tsingtao said, citing figures from the National Bureau of Statistics China.

Tsingtao Brewery, a sponsor for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, said on Monday that sales leapt 16 per cent to 5.77 billion yuan in the first half from a year ago while profit rose 22.5 per cent to 212.7 million yuan.

The higher sales helped the company shrug off rising raw material and power costs, which cut the gross profit margin to 6.4 per cent from 6.8 per cent a year ago.

Foreign and domestic competition are also pressurising the company's margin.

Trading of Tsingtao Brewery's Hong Kong and mainland listed shares were suspended yesterday, pending an announcement involving price sensitive information.

Market sources said the announcement would involve the company's proposal to make all non-tradable shares tradable.

The Hong Kong-listed shares fell 0.66 per cent on Monday, closing at HK$9.