Brewing and distilling group Thai Beverage has seen profits fall 5% last year due to soaring raw material costs.

The company, which produces brands including Chang beer and Old Pulteney Scotch whisky, yesterday (27 February) posted operating profit of THB15.9bn (US$469.7m) for 2006. Revenues, however, were up, rising 3% year-on-year to THB97.8bn.

Thai Beverage said falling spirits sales and the rising cost of molasses had hit earnings. The company also pointed to an increase in tax on brown spirits in Thailand, which hammered the sales of its whisky brand Sangsom.

International Beverage Holdings (InterBev) is the international arm of Thai Beverages. Last year, InterBev acquired Old Pulteney single malt Scotch whisky when it acquired Pacific Spirits UK, the owner of Scotch whisky producer Inver House Distillers.