The San Miguel Brewery in Hong Kong said its business in 2001 was flat owing to falling sales in southern China and tough market conditions in Hong Kong itself.

Net profit rose by 1.2% to HK$88.73m, but turnover was down by 4% at HK$1.37 billion. In spite of this, San Miguel recommended a final dividend of four HK cents per share, giving a total dividend for the year of 16 HK cents, 14.3% up on last year.

Hong Kong sales including some exports were up by 8.6% but volumes in South China fell by 11%, the company said. The company attributed the decline principally to a poor performance from Guang's Pineapple beer and Dragon Beer. In spite of demand in China growing by between 5% and 8% per annum, the market was becoming increasingly competitive, the company said.