Tsingtao Brewery saw its 2008 net profit jump 30% year-on-year to US$102 million despite slowing sales growth, Bloomberg reported. The company’s revenue came in at US$2.3 billion, up 17%, but the actual volume of beer sold rose by just 6.6% from 2007, reaching 5.38 million kiloliters. Beer consumption is seen as a casualty of the overall weakening economic environment in China, although it is thought the government might cut alcohol taxes as part of its stimulus package. Tsingtao was China’s second-largest brewer – after China Resources Enterprise – but slipped to third last year following the merger of Anheuser-Busch and InBev. Shortly afterwards, Anheuser-Busch sold the bulk of its stake in Tsingtao to Asahi of Japan. Tsingtao is looking to expand its market share in northern Hebei and Shanxi provinces and the Yangtze River Delta.