China. Tsingtao gets its buzz back on first-quarter profit growth

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Tsingtao Brewery rebounded here Tuesday after the Chinese company announced profit growth for the January-March quarter.

The company said after the market close Monday that net profit grew 2.5% on the year to 533 million yuan ($82 million). Its shares gained 2.72% to 30.20 Hong Kong dollars ($3.89) on Tuesday after two sessions of declines since Friday.

Profitability improved on strengthened online sales and the popularity of such high-value-added newer offerings as premium and dark beers. Revenue sank 4.4% to 6.86 billion yuan. In a slowing Chinese economy, demand at fine restaurants declined and competition intensified. The signature Tsingtao Beer brand accounted for 1.06 million kiloliters of the 1.95 million kiloliters of beer the company sold.

China’s beer industry is about eight times the size of Japan’s. A peak in 2013 has given way to a contraction as consumer tastes grow more diverse.