China Resources Enterprise has posted a healthy lift in its beverage performance for the first half of this year.

The group, whose core activities include retail, food processing and distribution, textile and property investment as well as brewing, said today (5 September) that turnover at its beverage unit hit HKD6.3bn (US$808m) for the first six months of this year, beating the HKD4.3bn delivered a year earlier.

Profit attributable to shareholders for the period reached HK$118m from the division, up from HKD76m in H1 2006. In volume terms, beer sales rose by 37% to 33.4m hectolitres, with organic growth rising by 24%.

China Resources Enterprise, which partners with SABMiller in China through the China Resources Snow Breweries joint venture, also noted that the unit's Snow beer brand reported sales volume growth of 82%, while consolidating its position as the single largest beer brand on the Chinese mainland.

Total group turnover rose to HKD35.1bn from HKD31.5bn, with profit attributable to shareholders increasing to HKD3.7bn from HKD1.2bn.

"2007 will be a year of transformation for CRE, underlined by the record interim results and rapid expansion of the core businesses," said company chairman Song Lin. "We are entering a new era of growth and prosperity driven by these flourishing consumer businesses."