Mon, Aug 13, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Tsingtao predicts 20 percent growth

BLOOMBERG

Tsingtao Brewery Co (青島啤酒), part-owned by Anheuser-Busch Cos, said its sales will grow by at least 20 percent annually in the next five years as it increases spending to build new plants.

The biggest Chinese brewer will focus on the construction of additional production lines in the next three to five years to sustain its revenue growth, chairman Li Guirong (李桂榮) said in an interview yesterday in the Chinese port city of Qingdao.

Rising affluence in the world's biggest beer market spurred a 16 percent surge in sales last year, with consumption forecast by Anheuser-Busch to double within a decade. Tsingtao Brewery, responsible for more than half of China's beer exports, is increasing marketing of premium products, including a low-alcohol brand, through sponsoring next year's Beijing Olympic Games.

The company will add additional production capacity of more than 1 million tonnes by the start of next year by building new plants in Shandong, Sichuan and Shaanxi, Li said.

"We will depend primarily on the domestic market for our development due to the strong local demands," Li said.

Tsingtao Brewery now has 50 plants in 20 provinces across China. The company produced 4.5 million tonnes of beer last year, Li said.

Tsingtao aims to increase sales of its profitable Tsingtao brand by 17 percent this year.

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