Yurun Food, one of the leading meat product suppliers in China, has posted turnover for the year to 31 December 2005 of RMB4.454bn (US$555m), up 71.8% from 2004. Net profit was up some 112.3% at RMB359m, while basic earnings per share rose by 85.9% to RMB0.344.

The company attributed the growth to the booming Chinese economy, strong growth in the consumer market, and expansion in the processed meat market, the company's core business area.

"2005 marked a major milestone for Yurun Food, in the successful listing of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last October, and I would like to express our gratitude for the trust from our investors," said Yurun's chairman Zhu Yicai.

"The listing has made it possible to tap the resources of the international capital markets for the group's developments. We have used these funds to enhance productivity, increase our capability in research and development, expand our sales network, and improve operating standards and service quality. I am extremely pleased with the company's performance in its first year as a publicly listed company."

Chief executive officer Bi Guoxiang said: "With our strengthened competitiveness, we outperformed our rivals in a highly competitive market as sales of our products continued to grow amid the increasing demand for chilled and frozen pork products in China. As we expanded, we worked hard to maximise economies of scale and effectively control cost and, as a result, enhanced profitability and increased shareholder value."

Yurun said pork sales had grown rapidly as the group increased penetration in its existing markets and further expanded sales channels and developed new markets in certain mid- to small-sized cities during the year. Chilled pork was the biggest growth driver, with sales for the year rising by 218.4% to RMB2.016bn, accounting for 42.2% of total turnover. Frozen pork sales rose by 27.7% to RMB1.519bn.

Yurun's board of directors recommended a final dividend of HK$0.065 per share for the year.