Kweichow Moutai Co., the maker of the fiery spirit served at Chinese government banquets for toasts to visitors, said third-quarter profit increased 22 percent after it raised prices and sales increased.
Net income climbed to 905.2 million yuan ($132.1 million), or 0.96 yuan a share, from 740.8 million yuan, or 0.78 yuan, a year earlier, the Guizhou province-based company said in a statement to Shanghai's stock exchange today. Sales rose to 1.87 billion yuan from 1.83 billion yuan.
Moutai raised prices an average of 20 percent in January after an increase of 12 percent last year because of rising demand. The stock has dropped 57 percent this year after more than doubling in 2007.
``The company always performs well in the third quarter because of the mid-Autumn festival, which people like to celebrate with the drink,'' said Zhang Yun, an analyst at Huatai Securities Co. Zhang spoke before the earnings statement.
Moutai, made from sorghum and produced in Moutai Village near China's Red River, has been used to toast dignitaries including Richard Nixon, former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung.