Moutai Profit Rises 6.7% as Holiday Season Boosts Liquor Demand

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Chinese liquor giant Kweichow Moutai Co. posted a 6.7% gain in net income for the third quarter, as a recovering economy and holiday-season demand continued to boost drinkers’ appetite for ultra-premium baijiu.

Net income for the three months ended September rose to 11.2 billion yuan ($1.7 billion), from 10.5 billion yuan a year ago. the company said in a stock exchange filing on Sunday. Total revenue for the period jumped 7.2% to 23.9 billion yuan.

Moutai has emerged as one of China’s most resilient companies during the coronavirus pandemic. Profit has grown even as overall consumption contracted.

Revenue growth last quarter was backed by strong peak-season demand ahead of the Mid-Autumn festival and National Day holidays that took place in early October. Moutai’s revenue has also been supported by China’s economic recovery, as businesses return to normal and people slowly venture back to restaurants.

Total retail sales in China resumed growth in the last two months, with spending on alcohol and cigarettes rising 17.6% in September.

The high demand for Moutai’s fiery baijiu -- scarce in supply and highly coveted by the Chinese elite -- makes Moutai an investor darling and China’s biggest stock. Its flagship product Flying Fairy continued to see the price of a half-liter bottle rise to about 3,000 yuan even after China’s discipline inspector for the Communist Party warned about high liquor prices and urged regulators to further crack down on illegal extravagant activities.

Moutai’s stock has climbed 45% this year.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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