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China Resources Third-Quarter Profit Rises 1.4 Percent

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- China Resources Enterprise Ltd., the Chinese government-backed partner of SABMiller Plc, reported third-quarter profit grew 1.4 percent.

Net income in the three months ended September rose to HK$1.06 billion ($136 million) from HK$1.04 billion a year earlier, China Resources said in a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange today. Sales rose 37 percent to HK$24.4 billion.

The state-controlled company is concentrating on its consumer businesses to tap growing demand in China, where retail sales growth averaged 18.3 percent in the 10 months through October. It may spend as much as HK$5.5 billion ($709 million) on acquisitions in retail, beverages and food, Chief Financial Officer Frank Lai said in August.

China Resources rose 2.5 percent to HK$32.95 in Hong Kong trading today, after the earnings announcement. The increase took the stock’s gain this year to 16 percent, beating the 8 percent advance in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Sales for the retail business, China Resources’ biggest, grew 56 percent to HK$13.9 billion while its profit contribution fell 7.5 percent to HK$383 million. The division includes more than 3,000 stores, mostly supermarkets, in China.

The beer division’s sales rose 20 percent to HK$7.77 billion and contribution to net income increased 30.2 percent to HK$526 million, according to the statement. Food sales rose 8.4 percent to HK$2.12 billion, contributing HK$87 million to profit.

The beverage business, which handles bottled water and fruit-flavored drinks, had sales of HK$754 million, 32 percent more than a year ago, and profit of HK$84 million or 45 percent higher.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wendy Leung in Hong Kong at wleung12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Longid at flongid@bloomberg.net

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