HONG KONG, March 5 (Reuters) - Want Want China Holdings Ltd , 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, China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, and Uni-President China Holdings Ltd. Its rivals in China also include the world's largest food company Nestle SA and French foodmaker Danone SA.
(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)