The world’s largest instant noodle maker, Indofood, has forecast a minimum 10% rise in sales and operating profit this year.

Last year Indofood posted total sales of 16.5trn rupiah (US$2.0bn), up from 14.6trn in 2001. Indofood president Eva Riyanti Hutapea said a stronger rupiah and falling domestic inflation should underpin demand for the company’s products, reported Reuters.

The company’s shareholders also approved a cash dividend of 28 rupiah per share, or around 30% of last year’s net profit.

Indofood, which is 48% owned by Hong Kong-listed First Pacific Co, also announced expansion plans.

“Starting in 2003, the company plans to expand in retail distribution so Indofood will build a total of 400 minimarts and they will be financed through bonds or loans,” Hutapea was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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