Tsingtao Brewery Co. has posted a massive lift in profits for the first quarter.

The Chinese company, which is 27%-owned by Anheuser-Busch, said today (29 April) that net profits for the first three months of 2008 leapt by 216.7% on the corresponding period a year earlier, reaching CNY129.6m (US$18.5m). Core sales in the quarter increased by 27.4% to CNY3.54bn.

Earlier this month, Tsingtao, which is China's largest brewer in sales terms, said that net profit in 2007 leapt by 15.8% on 2006, hitting CNY558.1m. Sales also headed north, climbing by 11% in volume terms to 5.05bn litres, and by 15.9% in value terms to CNY13.5bn. Tsingtao's namesake flagship beer brand delivered a sales increase of 19% in volume terms to 1.93bn litres.

Operating costs also rose sharply, however, leaping by 13.9% year-on-year, due in part to soaring wheat prices. Going forward, rising raw material costs, coupled with the appreciation of the yuan, will make their presence felt more keenly in 2008, the company said.