Chinese meat processor Yurun Food today (23 March) booked higher annual sales and profits for 2008, although margins dipped last year.

The company reported net profit of HK$1.14bn (US$147.1m) for 2008, a jump of 32.4% on the year. Turnover soared 50.8% to HK$13.02bn.

Net profit margins, however, stood at 8.7%, down from 10% a year earlier. Yurun Food pointed to falling margins on frozen pork products.

Yurun Food Zhu Yicai chairman said the company’s performance in 2008 was “relatively satisfactory”.

“The group was immune from the adverse impacts brought by food crises in 2008 and, in fact, able to attract more customers and strengthen its premier brand,” Zhu said.

The Yurun Food chief said the company would look to benefit from the consolidation.

“While the financial crisis is expected to persist in 2009, small-scale enterprises with low hygiene standards will be weeded out as a result of new regulation, accelerating the industry consolidation,” Zhu said.

“Looking ahead, the Group expects to capture new business opportunities brought by the industry consolidation in an effort to further strengthen its market position and enhance shareholders’ returns in a prudent manner.”