China Tsingtao Brewery's first-quarter profit rises 8.3 pct

HONG KONG, April 26 Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:07am EDT

HONG KONG, April 26 (Reuters) - Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd reported a 8.3 percent rise in first-quarter net profit as warmer weather fuelled beer consumption and demand for premium products boosted margins.

China's second-largest beer maker by volume, in which Japan's Asahi Breweries holds near-19 percent stake, posted a net profit of 488 million yuan ($79.1 million) for the January to March quarter, up from 450.6 million yuan a year earlier. Revenue rose 12.7 percent to 6.3 billion yuan.

The company said beer sales volumes amounted to 18.29 million hectolitres for the quarter, up 11.7 percent from 16.4 million hectolitres in the same period a year ago.

Last month, Tsingtao posted a 1.2 percent rise in 2012 net profit in its slowest growth since 1999, as higher production costs offset a rise in beer sales.

Tsingtao's Hong Kong-listed shares are up more than 12 percent this year, outpacing a fall of nearly 5 percent in the Hang Seng Index.

($1 = 6.1707 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)