Kweichow Moutai overtakes Diageo as world’s most valuable distiller

11th April, 2017 by Arabella Mileham

China’s Kweichow Moutai Co has overtaken Diageo to become the world’s most valuable distiller, according to Bloomberg 

The Baijiu-producer has seen its shares surge in the last two years, and on Friday saw its market value reach $71.5 billion. This tops the capitalisation of the Johnnie Walker producer, beating Diageo into second place at  $71.1bn, the Financial Times reported.

The Chinese spirit is primarily sold within China, with the domestic market accounting for around 95% of the spirit’s production. Such is China’s size that Brand Finance’s most recent Spirits 50 report showed baijiu accounting for around 37.5% of total global spirits values, versus around 28% for whisky, the FT said.

Baijiu is still the most popular alcoholic drink among Chinese consumers at New Year, according to research from e-commerce giant Alibaba, and Kweichow Moutai is the country’s biggest producer of high-end baijiu by market value. The partially state- owned partially publically traded company shifted eight tonnes worth of Moutai’s Year of the Rooster themed liquor on the first day of its release, according to a report by Wallstreet CN.

In February, the Chinese liquor company’s projected annual growth rate for 2017 is 22%.

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