The shadow of SARS over China's Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd seems to have finally passed. The brewer today posted a third-quarter net profit of RMB143.58m (US$17.37m), a rise of 28.8% year-on-year. Net profit for the first nine months of 2003 was up from RMB234.28m to RMB259.99m.

Tsingtao had a difficult first half of the year as the SARS crisis contributed to a 5.22% drop in net profit.

As profits rose, so did production. In the first nine months, overall beer output rose by 9% to 2.76m litres.

The Chinese brewer did not give a full-year profit forecast, but stated that the winter months were traditionally a slow time for beer sales.