SHANGHAI, March 11 Want Want China Holdings Ltd
, China's top food and beverage maker and distributor
by market value, said 2013 net profit jumped nearly a quarter as
it spent less on sales and marketing promotions.
Want Want, which makes dairy products, snack foods and rice
crackers, said on Tuesday that net profit for the year ended
December was $687.3 million, up 24 percent from $553.8 million a
year earlier. That beat market expectations of $651.8 million,
according Thomson Reuters Starmine SmartEstimates.
The company, which has a market value of $18.5 billion, said
its revenue rose 14 percent to $3.82 billion. It said its gross
profit margin increased 2.0 percentage points to 41.5 percent,
citing higher retail prices, a fall in cost of certain key raw
materials and optimization of its product mix.
But profit growth in the second half of the year - around
17.6 percent, according to Reuters calculations - was the
slowest since 2010, in part hindered by a shortage in domestic
milk powder supply. Dairy products make up over half of Want
Want's total revenue.
Want Want competes with Tingyi Cayman Islands Holding Corp
, China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, and
Uni-President China Holdings Ltd, as well as global
rivals including Nestle SA, PepsiCo Inc and
The company estimates its capital expenditure for 2014 will
be $458 million, up by two-thirds percent compared with last
year, according to a presentation on the results. Around
two-thirds of the money will be spent on buying land and
building factories and warehouses to help expand capacity in
dairy products and drinks.
Shares of Want Want - up 1.29 percent on Tuesday - have
fallen 1.8 percent so far this year. The benchmark Hang Seng
Index has dropped 4.3 percent.
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)