China snack maker Want Want posts record profit for 2012

HONG KONG Tue Mar 5, 2013 2:04am EST

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Want Want China Holdings Ltd (0151.HK), the country's top food and beverage maker and distributor by market value, posted a 32 percent rise in 2012 net profit on Tuesday, largely as a result of soft raw material prices.

Want Want, known in China for its rice crackers and snacks, posted a record net profit of $553.8 million for the year ended December, up from $419.5 million a year earlier and in line with market expectations of $556 million according Thomson Reuters Starmine SmartEstimate.

Turnover grew 14 percent to $3.36 billion.

Want Want, which has market value of $18.70 billion, competes with Tingyi (Cayman islands) Holding Corp (0322.HK), China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd (2319.HK), and Uni-President China Holdings Ltd (0220.HK). Its rivals in China also include the world's largest food company Nestle SA (NESN.VX) and French foodmaker Danone SA (DANO.PA).

(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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