SHANGHAI, April 24 (Reuters) - China’s Kweichow Moutai Co , the world’s most valuable liquor maker, reported a 25 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Monday, propelled by a jump in sales volumes.
The maker of fiery spirit baijiu, which can cost more than $300 a bottle, reported a 6.1 billion yuan ($886 million) net profit for the first three months of the year. The increase beat the company’s own forecast of 15.9 percent growth and represented its fastest quarterly growth since the fourth quarter of 2013.
Moutai’s share price has been unscathed by Beijing’s crackdown on corruption and luxury spending, surging by 300 percent since the start of 2014 and taking its market capitalisation to about $73 billion and past that of British rival Diageo.
The quarterly results provide further evidence of the company’s return to stronger growth after years of sluggish earnings and sales. Moutai said this month that 2016 full-year net profit had risen by 7.8 percent.
Moutai, a household name in China and once hailed as helping China’s Red Army survive the tortuous Long March in the 1930s, is the country’s top maker of baijiu. The strong, colourless spirit, which is usually made from sorghum, outsells vodka worldwide. ($1 = 6.8845 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Randy Fabi and David Goodman)