Asia-Pacific Breweries Ltd today reported rises in both sales and net profit for 2003. The brewer credited strong sales of beer in Vietnam and Thailand for the increases.

Net profit for the year rose by 10.9% to S$94.14m (US$54.26m) from S$84.9m year-on-year. Sales increased by 15.1% to S$1.26 billion.

In September, Asia-Pacific was hit for undisclosed claims from banks in Germany, Sweden and Japan after one of the company's executives was charged with defrauding them of up to US$69m. The brewery has said it will contest the charges. The case is expected to open in Singapore's High Court soon.

Asia-Pacific, makers of Tiger beer, is joint-owned by Heineken and Fraser & Neave Ltd. It is also Singapore's oldest brewery.