Tuesday, December 1, 2015   

Giant braces for beer cheer

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I was attending a media gathering of China Resources Group on the top floor of its Wan Chai headquarters when I noticed its corporate motto on the wall.

It read: "Winning market dominance. Creating vantage for the organization. Guiding value directions."

These policies seemed particularly apt after the recent third plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China decided to speed up building the country's market system.

This bodes well for the future expansion of energetic conglomerates like China Resources.

The group has a long history in Hong Kong, but its business only really started taking off in the new millennium.

Its assets now total close to HK$1 trillion, with annual net profit growing many fold in the past decade or so to the current HK$40 billion.

The state-owned enterprise ranked 396th when it first made the Fortune 500 list in 2010, but has since risen to 187th, and is expected to crack the top 150 next year.

Six subsidiaries are listed, with three of them Hang Seng Index constituent stocks.

Group president and managing director Qiao Shibo always emphasizes that China Resources is a Hong Kong company that made its first bucket of gold here.

It has also successfully established itself as a leading enterprise in the mainland, by competing fairly in the market - and not by seeking preferential policy treatment.

Qiao has high expectations for the retailing business of the group's listed subsidiary China Resources Enterprise, l
ed by Chen Lang.

He even posed for promotional pictures of the company's soon-to-be-launched high-end beers under the Snow brand.

The new line has two versions, with alcohol content of 4 percent and 2 percent, differentiated by the label of a jingju wuseng, or male martial art character in Beijing opera, and that of a dan, a female role.

Qiao sampled the new product for the media's benefit, joking that men would naturally start with wuseng, but switch to the dan version as they think about beautiful women after downing a few bottles. The reverse would be true for lady drinkers.

Qiao said Snow is the best- selling beer line under the group, but ranked after Tsingtao and Yanjing in profitability.

Snow targets high-end consumers, and the current focus is gaining market share, he said.

He is confident that after gaining a foothold in the market, profit will follow. Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily

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