Singapore-listed Taiwanese snack maker Want Want Holdings has reported first-half net profit up 15% to US$43.81m, helped by improvements in sales and operating efficiency.

The company said that despite the impact of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), second-quarter net profit was up 31.5% to $15.6m, thanks to improved sales of its rice cracker products. Sales rose 19% to $103.7m.

“Our second-quarter performance clearly demonstrated that our restructuring effort has begun to produce results with higher turnover and profits, despite a more difficult operating quarter due to the SARS outbreak, ” the company was quoted as saying by AFX Asia.

“Going forward, we believe we’ll be able to capitalise on the progress made and to (improve) our performance for the full year,” the company added.