Tsingtao Brewery, the Chinese brewer, has reported net profits up by between 60 and 70% for the first six months of 2009.

Tsingtao announced the estimated profits rise in a trading update to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday (13 July).

Lower costs, a better product mix and a growing presence across all of China's provinces drove the increase, said the group, which makes its namesake beer.

Net profits for the first six months of 2008 were RMB381m (US$55.8m), it said, without giving a figure for the first hald of 2009.

Last month, Japanese brewer Asahi said it would double the Tsingtao sales force, after buying a 20% stake in the brewer from Anheuser-Busch InBev.