Want Want Holdings has reported a rise in pre-tax profits for the second quarter as group turnover increased by over 25%.

The snack and beverage maker said today (16 August) that group turnover for the period jumped 25.2% on the same period last year. The increase in sales, from US$182.7m to US$228.7m, was mainly credited to improvements in sales of beverages and other snacks, the company said.

Group profit before tax, benefiting from the change in sales mix and higher sales volume, rose from US$25.6m to US$33.1m.

The company, which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, said that sales in its core region of China increased by 26.9% year-on-year. Stronger sales in core brand rice crackers, lower raw material cost for beverages and higher overall sales volume led to gross profit margin expansion and resulted in 30.3% growth in profit before tax.

For Taiwan, sales dropped 9.5% and lowered profit before tax.

Other regions' sales improvement of 29.6% came mainly from countries such as Korea, US, Holland and profit before tax rose 27.4%.

"The rapid growth of China's economy has brought about domestic inflationary pressure," the company said. "Hence market prices of raw materials are expected to trend upwards. The group will continue to contain cost pressures via sales volume increase and proactive cost management. Market conditions and cost factors will also be monitored to enable us to make reasonable adjustment to our product pricing.

"With regards to China market's characteristics and competition, the group will continue to effect organisational changes to better serve our end consumers and distribution network, as well as implement strict controls on expenses so as to improve our profitability."