Page last updated at 07:31 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 08:31 UK

Olympic thirst boosts China beer

Tsingtao beer
Tsingtao is China's second largest brewer

Chinese brewer Tsingtao has reported that half-year profits jumped 42% helped by added publicity due to its 2008 Beijing Olympics sponsorship.

The firm, which is 27% owned by US beer giant Anheuser Busch, said net income rose to 381.13m yuan ($55.4m; 29.8m).

Under pressure from higher raw material and labour costs, Tsingtao said it was forced to raise the prices of some of its brands during the period.

Brewers worldwide are suffering higher barley, hops and packaging costs.

China's beer market is the largest in the world by consumption, but it is a fragmented industry and competition from domestic and Western brewers is rife.

Tsingtao is China's second-largest brewer, behind China Resources Snow Breweries, which is co-owned by London-based SABMiller and owns the best-selling Snow brand.

It is hoping to tackle Snow's dominance through its Olympic campaign, on which it spent 1.6bn yuan in the first six months of 2008 - a 20.5% increase on last year.




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