The Chinese spirits group, Wuliangye Yibin Co Ltd., is maintaining its profit growth target of 10% in spite of the negative effects of the SARS outbreak.

"Our target has not changed and we want to realise a full-year profit growth of 10%," the company's board secretary, Peng Zhifu, said.

Successful cost-cutting initiatives allowed Wuliangye to register an 8.23% rise in net profit for the first half of 2003 to CNY389.63m. The profit increase was achieved in spite of a 1.03% drop in core revenues to CNY3.426 billion. The company said it was anticipating stronger sales in the second half.