China Resources Beer swings to profit in 2016, eyes acquisitions

* Says beer sales volume rose 0.3 pct in 2016

* Average selling price up 2.3 pct

* Aims to grow organically and through acquisitions

(Add earnings details, company comments)

HONG KONG, March 21 (Reuters) - China Resources Beer

(Holdings) Co Ltd reported its first annual profit in

three years on Tuesday as it focused on its flagship Snow brand

and expanded sales in various Chinese cities, and said it would

grow through acquisitions.

"Looking ahead, the overall market capacity may fluctuate

due to the various lingering uncertainties in the macro economy

and ongoing intense competition," Chairman Chen Lang said in a


"The business will continue to be developed through both

organic growth and evaluation of suitable potential acquisition

opportunities, which will play out more synergy effects brought

about by mergers and acquisitions," Chen said.

The owner of Chinese beer brand Snow on Tuesday posted

profit of 629 million yuan ($91.1 million), compared with a

restated 4.1 billion yuan loss in 2015 including losses in other

businesses, which it sold to its parent in September 2015.

Revenue increased 2.6 percent to 28.69 billion yuan.

Beer sales volume increased 0.3 percent to 11.72 million

kilolitres amid unfavourable weather conditions, a sluggish

economic environment and high competition. Average selling

prices increased 2.3 percent.

China Resources Beer in October said it wholly owned China

Resources Snow Breweries after buying the 49 percent stake it

did not already own from SABMiller PLC for $1.6 billion

"It is expected that the benefit of the acquisition of 49

percent stake will be fully reflected in 2017," Chen said.

Analysts see further upside potential on the stock if the

Chinese brewer co-operates or co-invests with international

brands to speed up product-mix upgrades.

Shares of China Resources Beer eased 0.5 percent after the

results, lagging a 0.3 percent gain in the benchmark index


($1 = 6.9060 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)