Another fat year for food group WH

Business | Stella Zhai 25 Mar 2020

Net profit of mainland meat and food processor WH Group (0288) last year grew 31.7 percent from a year ago to US$1.38 billion (HK$10.76 billion), and says it has no plans to increase prices, despite rising pork prices.

The coronavirus outbreak has had limited impact on the company's sales, given large global demand.

Basic earnings per share last year were 9.37 US cents and a final dividend of 26.5 HK cents was declared, making a full-year dividend of 31.5 HK cents. Revenue rose 6.6 percent year-on-year to US$24.1 billion in 2019.

The total number of hogs processed last year was 53.8 million, a decrease of 4.1 percent from 2018, dragged down by a 19 percent decline in numbers from its slaughtering business in China.

Chairman Wan Long said the company's business was supported by the government and communities amid the coronavirus epidemic and 95 percent of the company's factories have resumed operations.

Shares of the company jumped 10.74 percent before the result announcement, closing at HK$6.60.

Cofco Meat (1610) recorded a net profit for last year of 1.57 billion yuan (HK$1.72 billion) after an assets adjustment, compared with a net loss a year ago. The company said it will declare a final dividend of 40 percent of the net profit attributable to the owners.

Revenue of the company climbed 54.6 percent year-on-year to 11 billion yuan in 2019, driven by a 93.3 percent growth in meat sales.

Shares of Cofco Meat yesterday rose 7.34 percent to HK$1.90.

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