Kweichow Moutai slips to third place in China’s most valuable firms
Sales at Kweichow Moutai are up 17.2% but the drinks giant has still lost its top spot as China’s most valuable company.
Kweichow Moutai, the world’s biggest alcohol producer, enjoyed bumper sales of its baijiu range in 2023 and has forecast that net sales increased by 17.2% during the year to 149.5 billion yuan (£16.55 billion/US$ 21.08 billion).
This is a significant advance on the company’s earlier forecast of a 15% rise during the year.
As a result, the company expects a net profit of approximately 73.5 billion yuan (£8.14 billion/US$ 10.36 billion).
Kweichow Moutai has been expanding its product range to appeal to younger age groups in China, and according to financial analyst group Caixin Global its latest range extension is a partnership with privately-owned chocolate giant Mars to launch an alcohol-infused chocolate.
The chocolate, which has received bullish reviews, is Moutai’s latest effort to give its products extra appeal through partnerships with well-known consumer brands.
Cup of Joe
Last autumn China’s Luckin Coffee chain collaborated with Moutai on a new product called “soy sauce latte” that spikes Luckin’s coffee with baijiu.
The coffee chain said that on launch day it sold more than 5.42 million cups of Moutai alcohol-infused lattes, worth more than 100 million yuan (US$13.69 million).
In 2022, Kweichow Moutai opened its first ice cream store selling up to 14 flavours infused with baijiu.
Despite the latest strong sales figures Kweichow Moutai last year lost its top spot on stock markets as China’s most valuable company.
Mobile comms firm Tencent has taken the crown while Alibaba is second, with Kewichow sliding to third place.
During 2023 its shares fell by 10.5% to stand today at 1,726 yuan each. This was due in large part to foreign investors cashing in on previous gains in advance of fears about China experiencing a slowing economic growth rate in 2023.
However, the consensus among market watchers and financial advisers is that the shares of the state-controlled group should move ahead strongly this year.
At the current price, there are 49 buy recommendations and no advice for investors to sell.