China’s Want Want Holdings has booked an increase in first-half earnings, boosted by lower raw material prices and margin improvements.

The rice cake and beverage producer recorded earnings of US$307.6m in the six months to the end of June, a 33.2% improvement on last year. Operating profit climbed 33.4% to $397.3m, boosted by effective cost control.

Want Want said it experienced a fall in the prices of certain key raw materials in the period. Gross profit margin also increased by 4.1 percentage points to 41.2% in the six months.

Total sales were up 14.9% to $1.75bn, primarily due to sales growth in its dairy products and beverages, rice crackers and snack foods units of 18.3%, 15.5% and 8.4%, respectively.

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