Monday, November 30, 2020
Martin Hennecke

Wage subsidy boosts Vitasoy net up 26pc
Local beverage maker Vitasoy International (0345) announced a 26 percent net profit increase to HK$672 million for the six months ended September, mainly due to tightened cost control and the government's pandemic subsidies related to employment costs. Affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, its revenue decreased 6 percent to HK$4.41 billion, though operating profit jumped by 28.7 percent. Basic earnings per share were 63.1 HK cents. The company declared an interim dividend of 3.8 HK cents per share, the same as a year before. Its gross profit fell by 6 percent to HK$2.41 billion, mainly due to lower sales volume. Gross profit margin stood at 55 percent for the interim period, partly offset by unfavorable material prices. Executive chairman Winston Lo Yau-lai said that business in the mainland is gradually recovering and there was growth in revenue from May to September. Chris Lau Kin-Shing, chief financial officer, said that the price of raw materials increased in the first half, but the group has locked up prices with its key supplier. In other news, Chinese snack and beverage maker Want Want China (0151) said its net profit rose 20.9 percent to 1.95 billion yuan (HK$2.30 billion) for the six months ended September. An interim dividend of 0.65 US cents (5.07 HK cents) per share was declared. Basic earnings per share were 15.75 fen. The company's gross profit jumped by 9.1 percent to 4.96 billion yuan, but the gross profit margin dropped by 0.7 percentage points year-on-year to 48.2 percent due to an increase in the price of milk powder and white sugar. Its revenue increased by 10.7 percent to 10.3 billion yuan compared to the last year. Want Want China was removed from Hang Seng Index in September.

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