HONG KONG, March 18 (Reuters) - China's Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding Corp said annual profit rose 8.5 percent as a stabilising domestic economy boosted demand for drinks and instant noodles and as raw material costs fell, but the earnings fell short of expectations.
Tingyi, which has a broad-ranging partnership with PepsiCo Inc and sells noodles under the Master Kong brand in China, said profit for 2012 rose to $455.2 million, up from $419.55 million a year earlier, also helped by improvements in production efficiency.
The result lagged market expectations of $485.65 million, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine SmartEstimate.
Rival Want Want China Holdings Ltd, the country's top food and beverage maker and distributor by market value, this month posted a 32 percent rise in 2012 net profit to a record $553.8 million, largely due to softer raw material prices.
Tingyi, which competes with smaller rival Uni-President China Holdings Ltd, said revenue for 2012 was $9.21 billion for 2012, up 17.1 percent from $7.87 billion a year ago.
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