Beijing Yanjing Brewery has posted a strong rise in sales and profits for last year.

The brewer, which is the last remaining major independent brewer in China, said today (12 April) that sales for 2006 reached CNY6.1bn (US$789.5m), a 15% increase on the CNY5.3bn delivered a year earlier.

Net profit for the year was also up by 15%, coming in at CNY306.9m from CNY276.8m in 2005.

Beijing Yanjing has been the subject of speculation linking it to InBev in the last 12 months. In September last year, the brewer moved to quash rumours that it had invited InBev to take a stake in the company.

China, the world's largest beer market by volume, remains a key emerging market for multinational brewers keen to tap into burgeoning beer consumption in the country.