Tsingtao Brewery, China's leading brewer, which is part owned by Anhueser-Busch, has seen a 15% fall in second quarter profits. The results were not unexpected given the outbreak of SARS in China.

The company was also hit by higher cost as barley prices increased in the period.

The company did not provide financial details in a statement, but according to a calculation made in a report by the news agency Reuters, the company earned ¥49.1m (US$5.9 million) for the three months ended June.

After its first quarter results, the company warned that the SARS outbreak would affect its next set of figures. That said, the ¥49.1m did come in higher than many analysts expected.

In a statement the company commented: "We are one step ahead of the market with our alliance with Anheuser-Busch. We will follow this trend and combine our resources to consolidate and expand our leadership in the Chinese market."