China continues to be where it's at for the world's brewers at present, this time with Australia's Foster's Group announcing today that it has stemmed the losses at its Chinese operations, some ten years after it first made steps to break into the market.

Foster's chief executive Ted Kunkel also confirmed his committment to maintaining a presence in the market despite suffering a "bloody nose" from its aggressive strategy for China in May 1993. But the company recognised that if it wanted to have a global brand it could not turn its back on a market with half the population of the world in it.

Foster's would build the Foster's brand in China by continue to work "quietly, quietly".

The company has now stemmed negative cashflow by whittling down its presence there to one brewery.

"If you have a look at some of the numbers from the original days when we were some tens of million in loss in China ... right now we're just about getting to cashflow break-even in our whole Asian business, with a small loss in China today," Kunkel told a Securities Institute of Australia seminar. "We've coralled it (China), we've got it under control."