Chinese pork producer People's Food has said its second-quarter profit plummeted 90% due to the outbreak of SARS in China.

The Singapore-listed company posted net profit of 21.8m yuan (US$2.6m) for the quarter to 30 June, compared to 216.3m yuan a year earlier. Revenue fell 35% to 858.7m yuan.

In May the company temporarily suspended pig slaughtering at three of its plants in China because of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

People’s Food, which had warned its second-quarter profit would be impacted by the virus, said it was continuing to monitor consumer demand.

"Although there are signs of a recovery in demand, the directors will cautiously monitor the market situation to control the supply of live pigs to the various plants it operates," the company was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Smaller rival United Food earlier reported a 27% fall in second-quarter net profit as the SARS outbreak also hit demand for its frozen pork products.

The company posted profit of 110.09m yuan for the quarter, compared to 150.01m yuan a year earlier. Revenue fell 15.2% to 687.58m yuan, reported Reuters.