Chinese beer maker Chongqing Brewery has reportedly seen its 2006 earnings almost double.

Chongqing, in which Scottish & Newcastle holds a 17.5% stake, posted a net profit of CNY148m (US$19.1m) up over 88% on the year, according to reports in China today (23 March). Sales jumped 21.6% to CNY1.8bn.

Earlier this year, industry sources said S&N was looking to boost its stake in Chongqing. The UK's largest brewer, which bought a 19.5% stake in Chongqing two years ago, has seen its holding diluted to 17.5% as shares in the Chinese brewer have been issued to public shareholders.

Just-drinks understands that S&N could make a move this year to take its stake back up to 19-20%.

S&N officials were unavailable for comment as just-drinks went to press.