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China brewer Tsingtao Q3 profit up 11 pct

SHANGHAI, Oct 26 (Reuters) – China’s second largest beer maker Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd on Friday posted a 10.6 percent rise in net profit for the third quarter of the year, the third straight quarter of climbing profits despite a broader economic slowdown.

The iconic Chinese beer maker, which competes with larger local rival China Resources Beer, made a net profit of 797 million yuan ($114.73 million) for the three months to Sept. 30 versus 721 million yuan a year earlier, according to a Reuters calculation based on the company’s reported nine-month numbers.

China is the world’s largest beer market by sales but firms have found it challenging to deliver profits due to fierce competition between local brewers and global beer giants AB InBev, Heineken NV and Carlsberg.

Heineken said in August it was taking a $3.1 billion stake in the parent of China Resources Beer to tap a growing thirst for premium brands.

Tsingtao said its net profit in the first nine months of the year was up 12.3 percent. It had risen 13.4 percent in the first half of the year during a drive to control costs, rein in excess production and boost efficiency.

The brewer posted sales of around 8.49 billion yuan in the July-Sept period, up 2 percent against the same period in 2017. ($1 = 6.9465 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Kirsten Donovan)